Agricultural Sciences Bldg. (11), Room 217
Phone: 805.756.7308; Fax: 805.756.1335
Department Head: Benoit Lecat
|Program name||Program type|
|Wine and Viticulture||BS|
Professional positions within the grape and wine industry are multi-dimensional, where winemakers and winegrape-growers work together with wine marketing and sales personnel. To develop successful strategies, management teams need to understand all aspects of wine.
The WVIT major provides a unique interdisciplinary learning experience, combining a solid foundation in winegrape production, winemaking, and wine business with a concentration in enology, viticulture or wine business. With a campus located in the heart of California's Central Coast wine country, Cal Poly students have the added benefit of gaining hands-on experience at one of more than 400 local vineyards and wineries. The WVIT major is based on fundamental and applied sciences, modern agribusiness principles, and appropriate social sciences. The curriculum encompasses winegrape cultivation, enology, sensory science, and wine business and fosters an academic alliance among production agriculture, food -science, and agricultural business interests to provide an academic understanding of the "vine to glass" philosophy.
Cal Poly has a 14-acre campus vineyard and pilot winery that provide students the opportunity to practice our "learn-by-doing" method of education.
BS Wine and Viticulture
The major is based on fundamental and applied sciences, modern agribusiness principles, and appropriate social sciences. The curriculum encompasses winegrape cultivation, enology, and wine business and fosters an academic alliance among production agriculture, food science, and agricultural business interests to provide an academic understanding of the “vine to glass”.
The science of winemaking and its creative and practical application. Students monitor and assess wines and winemaking choices using sensory, chemical and microbiological analyses. Graduates are able to make creative winemaking decisions, manage a winery and provide successful solutions to winemaking challenges.
Intensive training in all aspects of quality wine grape production. Students learn site evaluation and vine-yard development, disease and pest management, sustain-ability, and state-of-the-art cultural practices. Graduates typically become vineyard managers, pest control advisors, or vineyard owners.
Students learn financial management, principles of vineyard and winery operations, strategic planning, branded wine marketing, packaging, wine consumer behavior, and government compliance. Graduates are prepared for a variety of wine industry careers, with many planning to operate vineyards or wineries of their own.
Cal Poly offers a Master of Science degree in Agriculture in which students can choose a thesis topic in enology, viticulture or wine business. Please refer to the MS Agriculture section of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.
How to Read Course Descriptions
The bolded first line begins with a capitalized abbreviation that designates the subject area followed by the course number and title. The unit value is also displayed.
CR/NC: Indicates a course is offered on a Credit/No Credit grading basis only.
GE Area: Indicates the General Education (GE) Area for which the course may fulfill a requirement. See the course description for details.
USCP: Indicates that credit in the course satisfies the U.S. Cultural Pluralism requirement.
GWR: Indicates the course will satisfy the Graduation Writing Requirement, if the student earns a grade of C or better AND receives certification of proficiency in writing based on a 500-word in-class essay.
Prerequisite: Coursework to be completed and/or requirements to be met before taking the course
Corequisite: Course or courses that must be taken in a previous term or in the same term
Concurrent: Course or courses that must be taken in the same term
Recommended: Course with supporting content that is recommended, but is not required to be taken in a previous term or in the same term
The course description summarizes the purpose and key topical areas of the course, and includes special requirements if they exist. It indicates the mode of instruction, such as lecture and/or laboratory; if no mode is indicated, the course is supervised independent study. If a course can be taken more than once for credit, the description will indicate that either major credit or total credit is limited to a specified number of units. Some course descriptions end with information about whether the course was "formerly" another course or whether the course is cross-listed. A cross-listed course is the same course offered within multiple subject areas, MCRO/WVIT 301 Wine Microbiology for example.
WVIT 101. Orientation to Wine and Viticulture. 1 unit
Introduction to the wine and viticulture program. Emphasis on curriculum and career planning. Credit/No Credit grading only. 1 lecture.
WVIT 102. Global Wine and Viticulture. 4 units
Introduction to wine grape growing, winemaking, and wine business. Brief history and overview of major global wine regions, including growing conditions, grape varieties, winemaking styles, and wine business practices. 4 lectures.
WVIT 202. Fundamentals of Enology. 4 units
Prerequisite: CHEM 111 or CHEM 127.
Introduction to the science of winemaking: development of wine components in grapes, grape maturation, harvesting, pre-fermentation wine-making methods, alcoholic fermentation, malolactic fermentation, wine maturation and post fermentation practices, wine spoilage, maintenance of wine integrity. 4 lectures.
WVIT 233. Basic Viticulture. 4 units
Fundamentals of grape growing, with emphasis on wine grapes. Fundamentals of vine anatomy and physiology, development and phenology, trellising systems, soils, climatic factors, vineyard establishment, grafting, irrigation, fertility, harvest practices, pruning, major pests, and major varieties and rootstocks. Not open to students with credit in WVIT 231. 4 lectures.
WVIT 270. Selected Topics. 1-4 units
Prerequisite: Open to undergraduate students and consent of instructor.
Directed group study of selected topics. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.
WVIT 301. Wine Microbiology. 4 units
Wine yeasts, bacteria, and molds: morphology and methods of identification; successful alcoholic and malolactic fermentations; management and prevention of unwanted microbial growth; micro-organisms and flavor development. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory. Crosslisted as MCRO/WVIT 301.
WVIT 302. Wine Fermentation Laboratory. 2 units
Prerequisite: WVIT 202; WVIT major; and at least 18 years in age.
WVIT 331. Advanced Viticulture - Fall. 4 units
Advanced viticulture theory and practice, with an emphasis on fall season activities. Identification of rootstocks, wine and table grapes, species taxonomy and diversity, and breeding for grapevine improvement. Field trips required. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory. Crosslisted as AEPS/WVIT 331.
WVIT 332. Advanced Viticulture - Winter. 4 units
Advanced viticulture theory and practice with emphasis on winter season activities. Pruning to influence vine balance, productivity, training and trellising systems, vineyard establishment, cover cropping and weed management. Field trips required. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.
WVIT 333. Advanced Viticulture - Spring. 4 units
Advanced viticulture theory and practices with emphasis on spring activities. Vine source/sink relations, factors impacting yield and berry composition, the role environmental conditions on vine physiology, and canopy management. Field trips required. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.
WVIT 339. Internship Wine and Viticulture. 1-12 units
One or two quarters spent with an approved wine industry employer engaged in wine production or related agribusiness and viticulture activities. Applying and developing production and managerial skills and abilities. One unit of credit may be allowed for each full week of completed and reported internship. Total Major credit limited to 6 units. Total credit limited to 12 units. Credit/No Credit grading only.
WVIT 343. Branded Wine Marketing. 4 units
Wine pricing as it relates to quality, packaging, and service. Distribution options with emphasis on the three tier system, promotional strategies, including public relations, mass media advertising, personal selling, and direct marketing. Domestic and international marketplaces. 4 lectures.
WVIT 344. Direct to Consumer Wine Sales. 4 units
Factors driving direct-to-consumer initiatives in the US wine business: tasting rooms, wine clubs/mailing lists, eCommerce, telemarketing, and events. Using current research and case studies to explore features of a direct-to-consumer approach, while facilitating compliance. Topics include: experiential marketing, social media, brand differentiation. 4 lectures.
WVIT 345. Wine Marketing Research and Market Analysis. 4 units
Application of statistical theory to design research to examine the wine and grape markets. Research examining the evaluation of appropriate data collection methods, quantitative analyses, and interpretation of primary and secondary wine and grape industry data. 4 lectures. Formerly WVIT 444.
WVIT 365. Wine Analysis and Amelioration. 4 units
Winery laboratory practices. Basic principles, techniques, and interpretation of common analyses for sugars, acidity, nitrogen, alcohol, volatile acidity, sulfur dioxide, phenols and color; wine and must amelioration, amendment effects, usage, calculations and procedures of addition. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.
WVIT 400. Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates. 1-4 units
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Individual investigation, research, studies, or surveys of selected problems. Total credit limited to 6 units, with a maximum of 4 units per quarter.
WVIT 404. Winemaking I. 4 units
Planning, managing and implementing harvest in the pilot winery; sanitation practices; monitoring grape maturity; handling juices and musts; alcoholic and malolactic fermentation, general cellar practices; sensory and laboratory analyses. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.
WVIT 405. Winemaking II. 4 units
Prerequisite: WVIT 404; WVIT major; and at least 18 years in age.
Planning, managing and implementing harvest in the pilot winery; sanitation practices; monitoring and maintaining wine integrity; planning for bottling; blending trials; general cellar practices; sensory and laboratory analyses. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.
WVIT 406. Winemaking III. 4 units
Prerequisite: WVIT 405; WVIT major; and at least 18 years in age.
Planning, managing and implementing the preparation of wine for bottling; blending; fining; filtration; bottling; conducting general cellar practices; sensory and laboratory analyses. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.
WVIT 414. Grape Pest Management. 4 units
Comprehensive survey of major grape pests including diseases, insects, weeds, vertebrates, and nematodes. Identification and biology of grape pests and natural enemies, monitoring, and integrated pest management (IPM) strategies, including cultural, biological, and chemical controls. Guest lectures. 3 lectures, 1 activity. Crosslisted as AEPS/WVIT 414.
WVIT 423. Wine Law and Compliance. 4 units
Prerequisite: WVIT 343.
Legal aspects of wine making/marketing. Emphasis of both Federal (Tax and Trade Bureau) and State business requirements as well as State and Federal regulations impacting winery and viticultural practices in California. 4 lectures.
WVIT 428. Winegrape Vineyard Management. 4 units
Winegrape vineyard management practices including: financial projections and budgeting, contracting and supervision of labor, trellis installation and repair, irrigation systems maintenance, fertilization and spray scheduling. Field trips required. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.
WVIT 433. Wine Sales and E-Commerce. 4 units
Prerequisite: WVIT 343.
Professional selling in the wine industry. Selling wine through the seven avenues of wine distribution in the 3-tier system. Exploration of aspects of wine selling, from customer relation management to cultural and legal differences among states. How strategies for selling differ for various sized wineries. 4 lectures.
WVIT 442. Sensory Evaluation of Wine. 4 units
Evaluation of wines using the techniques in sensory evaluation. Difference and rating tests; descriptive analysis and pairing of wine and food. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.
WVIT 447. Logistics for the Global Wine Industry. 4 units
Scope and elements of the international wine logistics system including supply and distribution channels, transportation, inventory, warehousing, packaging and order processing. 4 lectures.
WVIT 450. Wine Business Strategies. 4 units
The strategic planning process for wine businesses. Development of a complete business plan with careful adherence to the unique and complex regulations that apply to wine businesses. The business plan will include specification of the product, distribution, finance, and marketing. 4 lectures.
WVIT 460. Senior Project - Wine Business. 4 units
Selection and analysis of wine and viticulture business problems and opportunities in directed group-based projects. Problems typical to those that graduates may encounter in marketing and management in the wine and viticulture industry. Formal report and presentation required. 4 lectures.
WVIT 463. Issues, Trends and Careers in the Wine Industry. 2 units
Prerequisite: Senior standing; WVIT majors only.
Current issues and trends in viticulture, enology and wine business. Career opportunities and planning for WVIT majors nearing graduation. 2 seminars.
WVIT 464. Senior Project - Enology and Viticulture. 4 units
Prerequisite: STAT 218; junior standing; completion of the Graduate Writing Requirement.
Completion of a research proposal and comprehensive literature review, including analysis of experimental results from published peer-reviewed articles in enology and/or viticulture. Written and oral presentations. 4 lectures.
WVIT 465. Senior Project - Research Experience in Enology or Viticulture. 2 units
Prerequisite: STAT 218; completion of the Graduate Writing Requirement; and consent of instructor.
Involvement in the experimental design, execution, data analysis and reporting of research under the direct supervision of faculty. Completion of several critiques of current peer-reviewed journal articles in enology and/or viticulture. Total credit limited to 4 units.
WVIT 470. Selected Advanced Topics. 1-4 units
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Directed group study of selected topics for advanced students. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.
WVIT 471. Selected Advanced Laboratory. 1-4 units
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Directed group laboratory study of selected topics for advanced students. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 laboratories.
WVIT 477. Advanced Wine Sensory Analysis. 4 units
Advanced sensory evaluation of wines. Human physiology and wine chemistry in the interphase of wine sensory analysis. Wine varieties and styles, including selected appellations of Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and United States. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.
Luis Federico Casassa
B.S., Cuyo National University, Mendoza, Argentina, 2004; M.S., 2007; Ph.D. Washington State University, 2013.
Michael J. Costello
B.S., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 1981; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1992. Pest Control Advisor. Pest Control Advisor.
B.S., Henan University, China, 2010; M.S. The University of Hong Kong, 2013; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2018.
Jean Dodson Peterson
B.S., University of California, Davis, 2009; M.S., 2012; Ph.D., 2014.
B.S., Wake Forrest University, 1983; M.Tax Baylor University, 1985, PhD. University of Southern California 1996
M.S., Graduate School of Business Students, KULeuven, Belgium, 2000; Ph.D., FUCAM, branch of LOUVAIN School of Management, UCL Campus of Mons, Belgium, 2006. Level 4 DipWSET