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New Tasting Room Operations Certificate Offered


Surry Community College is offering a new Tasting Room Operations certificate in the Viticulture and Enology program. The coursework will include work experience in a tasting room, as well as online classes. The certificate represents eight classes equaling 16 credit hours.

Students can begin the certificate this summer by enrolling in VEN 130 Fundamentals of Viticulture and Enology, which provides an overview of viticulture and enology for tasting room staff. This class will also be offered in the fall. Summer classes begin May 18, and end Aug. 3.

Other classes included in this certificate are: VEN 131 Wine Tasting, VEN 132 Wines of the World, VEN 281 Tasting Room Operations, VEN 282 Tasting Room Operations Lab or a Work Based Learning option, VEN 289 Wine Business, VEN 290 Wine Finance, and VEN 286 Wine Marketing.

Two other viticulture and enology classes will be offered online this summer – VEN 135 Introduction to Viticulture and VEN 285 Winery Operations.

The Tasting Room Operations certificate will give students the baseline they need to succeed in the tasting room and to propel them forward into management jobs. This certificate will allow students to become more knowledgeable about all aspects of wine from viticulture and production to business and finance management with the overall emphasis on how to properly operate and organize the modern tasting room.

“The Tasting Room Operations certificate is something that is much needed in the wine industry, especially in North Carolina,” explains SCC Enology Instructor, David Bower. “There are limited formal training opportunities available nationwide for the people that are truly most important in the wine-sales equation, the staff of the tasting room. These people are the front lines to our brands and stories, which are the livelihood of our wineries.”

Viticulture Instructor, Sarah Bowman adds, “It is critical that tasting room managers understand the basic processes involved in grape and wine production so they can share that information with their customers. Wine is a unique product because every season is different, and there are many different approaches to wine growing and making. Direct to consumer marketing in a tasting room setting is the perfect opportunity to explain to consumers why they should value the risk, labor and skill that is necessary for high quality wine production.”

Bower added, “To have a training certificate in place for tasting room staff to become more knowledgeable about the world of wine, the current marketing and sales trends in the Mid-Atlantic and around the world, will usher our industry forward with great results.”

Registration for fall and summer classes at Surry Community College is going on now. Summer classes begin May 18, and fall classes begin Aug. 17. For more program information, contact Jeff Jones, Sciences Division Chair, at (336) 386-3391 or Application and class registration information is available on or by calling (336) 386-3264 or

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