If you’re into the wine scene in the Columbia Valley, you can take your interests a degree further by studying a unique program in wine science right here in the Tri-Cities. Because our state is one of the most productive wine regions in the country, there’s no better place to study all things viniculture than right at our own Washington State University. The school has top of the line connections to local businesses in the wine industry and has been very successful since its opening on the Tri-Cities campus.
Students seeking degrees in wine science can focus on Viticulture & Enology or Wine Business Management. For those who desire to get their hands dirty, growing grapes, harvesting the product, and learning about the juice and how to create the perfect tastes, the Viticulture & Enology degree is most appropriate. However, majors and minors are also offered in wine business management. This program is part of WSU’s Hospitality Business Management Program and has been extremely successful over the past few years.
While sampling the products of study might be the most rewarding part of the journey, the coursework will offer academic challenge and drive advancements in personal growth. Courses in chemistry, biology, horticulture, viticulture, enology, soil, and statistics will fill the evening hours during the four-year program. The employment rewards of such a unique and specific field of the wine industry should be plentiful, and our region is especially suited for the business.
To support this field of study, WSU recently built a laboratory facility…the Ste. Michelle Wine Science Center. It sits on the Tri-Cities campus in North Richland, on a bluff looking overlooking a research vineyard along the northwestern edge. WSU’s website says this vineyard provides varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Gewurtztraminer, and Riesling grapes. A true variety! Students in this program have worked with regional winemakers and growers to create specialized wines that proudly bear the WSU Cougar insignia. If you are a WSU alumni and/or wine lover, these might be calling your name!
We’ve covered some of the various local wineries in previous articles on Windermere Current. Among the most popular is Tulip Lane, Winery Row, in which we discussed several of the most prominent wineries in the Tri-Cities. If your interest has been piqued, feel free to read more about these amazing establishments here. These three wineries are located next door to one another on Tulip Lane near the Queensgate area and have been known to work with students from the WSU Wine Center. Sound interesting to you? Check out the school’s excellent program at wine.wsu.edu, and may the wine flow!