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Viticulture Courses

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VIT 100 Introduction to Wines and Vines (3-0) 3 hrs.

This course is designed to introduce students to the world of growing grapes, winemaking and wine appreciation. Orientation into the Viticulture and Wine Technology AAS program will occur in this class. Classroom topics include cultural history and geography, plant taxonomy and anatomy, wine producing regions, viticultural cycles, general winemaking operations and important factors influencing wine styles. There is a wine tasting portion of the class where students will learn to distinguish wines and how to read a wine label. This class will focus on the New York state wine industry. (Also listed as HRT 100) B View Course SyllabusAdobe Acrobat, PDF


VIT 105 Basic Viticulture Techniques (3-0) 3 hrs.

This course is designed to introduce students to current techniques used while managing a commercial vineyard. Students completing this class will understand how to maintain appropriate vigor and productivity of a vineyard once it is established. Topics covered include: site analysis; varietal selection; trellising methods; nutrient needs of vines; diseases and insect pests of grapevines; crop regulation; breeding; grafting; vineyard floor management; and harvest determinations. A significant portion of the class will be dedicated to pruning. Viticulture safety issues will be addressed. (Also listed as HRT 105) S View Course SyllabusAdobe Acrobat, PDF


VIT 110 Summer Vineyard Technology Practicum (5-0) 5 hrs.

This field course is designed to provide experience for students so that they develop relevant skills in current practices for summer maintenance of a commercial vineyard. Requirements will include 105 hours of work at an approved vineyard, attending 25 hours of workshops dealing with seasonal winery and vineyard operations, and participating in 15 hours of classroom discussion and lecture about their own and other students’ activities in their work experiences. Students will maintain journals on their work experiences, and keep track of their hours of different activities. The focus will be on vineyard maintenance for maximum health and productivity of vines. Prerequisite: VIT 105. SU View Course SyllabusAdobe Acrobat, PDF


VIT 115 Introduction to Enology Lab Techniques (0-3) 2 hrs.

Students will become familiar with juice and wine analyses that are used when making a commercial wine from grape ripening through initial wine stabilization. Analytical methods for testing juices for sugar, acid and pH are some of the skills that will be studied. Students will also study strategies for cleaning and sanitizing wine equipment and the laboratory. Identification and proper use of laboratory equipment will be integral to the course. Work orders, common in a winery environment, will be introduced, used and created by the students throughout the course so the student is prepared to track information throughout harvest and winemaking. Corequisites: VIT 100 and MAT 145 College Algebra (or placement out of MAT 145 by scoring a 3 on the math placement test). S View Course SyllabusAdobe Acrobat, PDF


VIT 200 Vineyard Management (3-0) 3 hrs.

This course is designed for students already familiar with the basics of viticulture. A student project will be completed using geological survey data, evaluating a real site for its potential as a vineyard. Students will develop an establishment plan and create a water management strategy based on soil properties and climate of a selected site. Vineyard design will be covered including planning rows, and calculating the numbers of posts and plants needed. A task management plan will be developed for a year including specific strategies for management of weeds, vertebrate pests, insects, and diseases. Lecture topics covered will include canopy management, foliar sampling, sustainable management practices, and how cropping systems affect vine vigor. Labor management and grape contracts will be discussed. A team sustainability project will be completed focusing on a sustainability issue pertinent to the Finger Lakes wine growing region. Prerequisite: VIT 105 S View Course SyllabusAdobe Acrobat, PDF


VIT 205 Fall Wine Technology Practicum (4-0) 4 hrs.

This field course is designed to provide an experience for students that develops relevant skills in current practices for harvesting grapes and processing grapes into wine at a commercial vineyard and/or winery. Students will gain hands on experience in fermentation management as well as winery safety, equipment and sanitation. Requirements will include 75 hours of work at an approved vineyard or winery, attending 20 hours of workshops dealing with seasonal winery and vineyard operations, and participating in 15 hours of classroom discussion and lecture about their own and other students’ activities in their work experiences. Students will maintain journals on their work experiences, and keep track of their hours of different activities. Corequisite: VIT 210. F View Course SyllabusAdobe Acrobat, PDF


VIT 210 Introduction to Enology (2-2) 3 hrs.

This course is designed to introduce students to the science of wine making. Topics covered include: microbiology of wine yeast and bacteria; analytical methods for testing juices for sugar, acid and pH; and the importance of sanitation in the winery. Students will study and perform the processes of wine cellar operations from vineyard through fermentation, and the early stages of initial stabilization of young wines. Students will become familiar with various wine making equipment including a crusher/stemmer, press, must pumps, juice and wine pumps, tri-clover fittings, and other fermentation tools. Techniques and reasons for using various winemaking additives from harvest through stabilization will be explored. Prerequisite: CHM 121, VIT 100. S View Course SyllabusAdobe Acrobat, PDF


VIT 215 Enology (2-2) 3 hrs.

This course is designed as a continuation of the study of the science of wine making with more focus on wine stabilization, storage, waste water management and energy considerations when making wine. Topics covered include winery water and energy use, chemical and biological stability of bulk wine storage, wine preparation for bottling, and blending considerations. Students will study heat and cold stability of wines, filtration, barrel management, bottling wine, wine closures and become familiar with common analytical skills used in a wine lab. Prerequisite: VIT 210. S View Course SyllabusAdobe Acrobat, PDF


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