Surry CC offering Vineyard Workshops

Surry Community College Viticulture Instructor Joseph Geller will instruct two upcoming workshops.

Surry Community College will hold a Vineyard Establishment and Planting workshop on Friday, April 21 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on the Dobson campus taught by SCC Viticulture Instructor Joseph Geller. An additional workshop on Canopy Management Shoot Thinning will be held on Friday, May 5 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. also taught by Geller.

In the April workshop, Geller will provide instruction on how to successfully plant and care for young grapevines and allow students to gain hands-on experience in the newly established vineyard on site. Participants will leave with the knowledge of the planting methods, techniques and tips necessary to carry out the establishment of their own vineyards. Participants will discover the importance of shoot thinning in the vineyard in the May workshop, which will feature timing and techniques related to shoot thinning and allow participants a chance to practice in the campus vineyard. Gloves, a hat and a bottle of water are recommended.

Geller earned a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of South Carolina in 2010 and a master of science in Viticulture and Enology from California State University Fresno in 2012. His interest was always in science, and after many trips to Napa, California, to visit family, he realized he could apply his science background to an exciting career in the wine and grape industry. He was a teaching assistant for viticulture courses during his time at Fresno State where he presented his graduate research at a number of technical conferences. He realized early on that he had a knack for relating to an audience and effectively communicating often complicated scientific topics, which is why he wanted to become an instructor.

Geller has been working at Surry Community College since July 2014 as the Viticulture Instructor. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and providing students with professional expertise. 

He enjoys SCC's Viticulture and Enology program because it is practical and hands on, which fits well with his teaching style. While a graduate research assistant at California State University Fresno, Geller managed a large-scale research project with a team of five undergraduates to focus on canopy management. His research and industry experience on the West Coast is being used to guide decisions on the SCC's teaching vineyard that he oversees. 

Previously, Geller served as a viticulturist at Treasury Wine Estates in the Napa, Sonoma, and California Central Coast regions. He also worked in production and sales at Idle Hour Winery in Oakhurst, California.

Pre-registration and payment of $20 is required for each workshop. The cost of tuition may be waived through the Surry Skill-UP program for those who qualify. Call to apply. For additional information and registration, call (336) 386-3618. 


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