New year brings new viticulture courses to Okanagan College

Part-time viticulture course offered at the Penticton campus

While wine lovers will have to wait months — if not years — to sip and savour 2018 Okanagan vintages, 2018 is poised to be a very good year right from the start for anyone looking to learn the art and science of grape growing in the region.

Three new part-time viticulture courses starting in January at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus will offer students a flexible way to gain the skills and knowledge needed to work in or manage a commercial vineyard. Previously, the courses have only been available to students enrolled in the full-time Viticulture Technician diploma program.

“By allowing students to take individual courses on a part-time basis, we aim to provide a more convenient means to explore this exciting field of study,” said Jonathan Rouse, the college’s director of food, wine and tourism. “It will allow individuals, both experienced and new to viticulture, an opportunity to further develop a range of skills and knowledge that aligns with the needs of the wine industry.”

Related: New Viticulture Technician program at Okanagan College

The courses will run Jan. 3 – April 26, 2018 and span three key cornerstones of viticulture – vineyard health and nutrition, irrigation and trellis systems and vineyard operations. Students can expect a blend of classroom instruction and practical experience at local vineyards.

“Beyond having an understanding of the scientific principles of grape growing, there is a great deal of practical knowledge up-and-coming viticulturists need to have to find employment and be an asset in the vineyard,” said Rouse.

The courses were developed as part of the college’s new Viticulture Technician diploma program that launched in September. The two-year pilot program was made possible with funding from both the federal and provincial governments through labour market agreements, and developed in partnership with the B.C. Wine Grape Council.

“In designing these courses, we worked closely with local vineyard managers, winemakers and proprietors to better understand the talent they need to ensure we continue to produce quality grapes in the Okanagan.”

In addition to budding grape growers and future winemakers, the coursework may also be an asset to professionals in other areas of the wine industry, notes Rouse.

“I can see these courses appealing to individuals working in wine sales and marketing,” he said. “Students will come away with a greater depth of knowledge of the entire process from grape to glass.”

More information about the courses is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/vittech.

Just Posted

3% tax hike proposed in West Kelowna

Proposed provisional budget tax hike in line with recent annual increases in the city

Okanagan robbery suspect sought

RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect in an… Continue reading

11-year-old water quality advisory lifted in Glenmore

Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District says Interior Health gave the green light to lift advisory

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

Eyes on Kelowna’s crime hotspots considered in budget

If you felt like someone was watching as you were out and about this summer, you may be right.

Crook’s Corner

A slice of this week’s arts and entertainment happenings in the North Okanagan at a glance

Scrooge comes to the stage in Kelowna

A Kelowna Christmas Carol opens this Wednesday at the Rotary Centre for the Arts.

Crown appeals stay against Jamie Bacon in Surrey Six killings

B.C.’s prosecution service says judge’s decision reveals ‘errors of law’

Feds agree to give provinces 75 per cent of pot tax revenues

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the agreement today

Attempted murder charge up in the air after victim’s death

Without Thomas Szajko’s testimony, alleged shooter Afshin Ighani could get off on that charge

Red Scorpion associates cuffed in drug-trafficking bust

Kamloops RCMP lay charges in connection to Red Scorpion drug trafficking ring

Merry lottery win for Shuswap man

Five-dollar scratch ticket a $100,000 winner for Sicamous resident

Woman sought in Kamloops stabbing

Kamloops RCMP are looking for the woman they believed stabbed a man on Sunday

Emergency response ‘well executed’ in B.C. carbon monoxide poisoning

Emergency Health Services talks about how first responders dealt with this ‘mass casualty event’

Most Read