SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s College of Food, Agriculture & Environmental Sciences (CAFES) today announced that its popular Wine & Viticulture Program has become an official department within the college.
The designation as a department reflects the rapid growth of the program. With 250 students, Cal Poly’s Wine & Viticulture Department is the largest of its kind in the nation. In addition, the department is enrolling more than 90 new students this year, the largest incoming class in its history.
“I am thrilled that Wine & Viticulture has been conferred department status,” said Wine & Viticulture Department Head Jim Cooper. “It is a reflection of the popularity of our program, our outstanding climate for producing high-end wines, and the fact that we are the only university to offer a comprehensive program covering enology, viticulture and wine business.”
Cal Poly’s Wine & Viticulture Department is the only of its kind to offer an integrated educational program that focuses on three concentration areas: enology, viticulture and wine business. As part of Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy, all students in the department conduct hands-on work in vineyards and wineries, where they produce a number of wine varietals. In addition, as part of the curriculum, all students participate in paid internships at renowned domestic and international wineries, such as J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Duckhorn Vineyards and France’s Chateau Margaux.
Cal Poly first offered a Wine & Viticulture curriculum as a minor in 1999. Given the popularity of the minor, Wine & Viticulture was offered as a major in 2004. In 2011, it became a stand-alone program within CAFES. The Wine & Viticulture Department is now one of 10 departments in CAFES. For more information, visit www.wvit.calpoly.edu.