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Viticulture Certificate Available to High School Juniors and Seniors Starting Fall 2019


High school juniors and seniors can take Viticulture classes incorporating vineyard field work with grape science and earn classes toward completing a Viticulture certificate at Surry Community College as a part of the tuition-free, Career & College Promise dual enrollment program, beginning Fall 2019.

Viticulture is the study of grape growing, and enology is the study of winemaking. Both areas of study are a part of the Viticulture and Enology program that offers the option of a two-year degree or three certificate options in Viticulture, Enology, and Wine Marketing.

“Previously, the Viticulture certificate required a class where students had to be 21 years old for wine tastings. We have changed the Viticulture certificate class requirements, which has allowed us to offer the certificate through Career & College Promise, ” said SCC Division Science Chair Jeff Jones. “Viticulture is an agricultural program focusing on grape cultivation that takes place in our five-acre, on-campus vineyard, as well as the classrooms at the Shelton-Badgett North Carolina Center for Viticulture and Enology on our Dobson campus, where the Surry Cellars winery is also located. ”

SCC Viticulture Instructor Sarah Bowman welcomes high school juniors and seniors into her classes.

“Students with a farming background will feel right at home in these courses along with students who are inexperienced, but have a love or interest in grape growing. No prior knowledge of agriculture is needed, ” Bowman said. “I teach a range of topics including vineyard design, soil fertility, and integrated pest management. The classes are very hands-on. Our students participate in all aspects of canopy and yield management beginning with dormant pruning and ending with fall harvest of our 15 grape varieties. ”

Prospective students are invited to a Viticulture and Enology Open House on Saturday, April 13, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Surry Community College when students can meet the instructors, tour the Surry Cellars winery and vineyard, and participate in a mini-wine tasting if 21 years old with valid identification. Event participants will be entered in a $250 scholarship drawing provided by the Surry Community College Foundation. Pre-registration is required at Student Services staff will be on hand to help prospective students with college application, class registration, and financial aid resources.

SCC has the only licensed, bonded winery in the Southeast as part of a college educational program. The 2,500-gallon capacity winery has produced wine that has earned more than 70 medals since 2009, exhibiting the quality of the student vintages.

Surry is the only college on the East Coast to teach the production of sparkling wine. The college produces about 1,500 cases of wine per year along with offering instruction for the degree program, continuing education classes, performing applied research, conducting grant work, and hosting an annual wine symposium each November.

If you have questions about the program, contact Jeff Jones at (336) 386-3391 or For help with college application, class registration or financial aid, contact Student Services at (336) 386-3264 or New students can begin class registration on April 8.

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