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Wine Studies

The Mid-Willamette Valley is a major player in the wine industry. Chemeketa's Wine Studies program offers hands-on training to meet the present and future needs for skilled winemakers, cellar workers, vineyard managers, lab technicians and tasting room staff.

topics Agricultural Sciences

Skills & InterestWorking with your hands

CareersAgricultural Science

  • Eight wine bottles on a table
  • Two students picking grapes

Why choose Wine Studies?

Northwest Oregon is celebrated for cool-climate wine grapes, particularly Pinot Noir. There are 1,000-plus vineyards and 725 wineries in Oregon. The vineyard acreage and number of wineries in Oregon have increased substantially over the last decade. 

The Northwest Wine Studies Center is a leading wine industry resource that provides continuing education and degree programs in all aspects of wine, from grape to glass. The center emphasizes strong alliances with the Northwest wine industry, associated educational institutions, and the community. The Center is located in Salem, Oregon, on the Eola campus of Chemeketa Community College. Salem is the state capital and is centrally located in the middle of state’s largest AVA, the Willamette Valley.

The Northwest Wine Studies Center is home to Chemeketa's 8-acre vineyard and Chemeketa Cellars, a fully functional estate teaching winery and tasting room. The Chemeketa Cellars tasting room is open to the public for tours, tasting and wine sales. When the center is not in use for educational purposes, the contemporary design and majestic views make its conference space a popular meetings and events venue.

What will you learn?

Chemeketa's Wine Studies program will teach you the skills for a number of different careers in the wine industry, from managing the growth and production of wine grapes to turning the grapes into wine to managing a tasting room and winery events.

Classes cover a variety of topics including seasonal vineyard practices, vine physiology and general viticulture practices, wine tasting and components, wine chemistry, microbiology and production, and wine sales. The winemaking and vineyard management degree programs also include a 6 or 9 credit internship component.

What will you do?

The thriving Oregon wine industry will present you with a number of job and career opportunities. Whether you are interested in becoming a cellar master, winemaker, vineyard manager, tasting room manager, or something in between - opportunities abound throughout the state's wine industry.


    In the Winemaking program, you will learn about fruit and wine chemistry, microbiology and sensory analysis. This will include hands-on training in our onsite commercial vineyard and winery.

    You will learn how to–

    • Check grape maturity and make harvest decisions
    • Process grapes
    • Manage fermentation
    • Use and maintain winery equipment
    • Perform quality control
    • Build a winery facility
    • Comply with government regulations

    See Course Sequences for more information.


    In the Vineyard Management program, you will learn chemistry, plant science and business management as it relates to farming. This will include hands-on training in our on-site commercial vineyard and winery.

    You will learn how to–

    • Evaluate a site for winegrape growing
    • Track vineyard operations and prepare reports
    • Project timing of vineyard operations
    • Properly perform seasonal work including pruning, integrated pest management, canopy management, vineyard floor management and crop regulation
    • Comply with government regulations
    • Develop a vineyard business plan

    See Course Sequences for more information.


    The Vineyard Operations certificate teaches you the skills needed for employment as a vineyard technician or if you're interested in starting a vineyard.

    You will learn how to–

    • Evaluate a site for winegrape growing
    • Track vineyard operations and prepare reports
    • Properly perform seasonal vineyard work including pruning, disease and pest control, canopy management and crop regulation

    See Course Sequences for more information.


    The Wine Hospitality Operations certificate prepares you for supervisory positions in winery tasting rooms. Tasting rooms have emerged as a critical sales channel for local wineries seeking to maximize revenue and creating loyal customers.

    This Independent Course of Study combines courses from both the Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) department and the Wine Studies (VMW) department.

    You will enjoy a unique opportunity to gain real-life experience in the tasting room and wine club at the Northwest Wine Studies Center at Chemeketa Eola to support the sale of Chemeketa Cellars wines.

    See Course Sequences for more information.

  • Fall 2023 Courses

    FALL TERM 2023 - September 11-November 25, 2023
    (HOLIDAYS: November 10, 23-24)

    Classes are in person unless noted otherwise.

    VMW 101 General Viticulture MONDAY Lecture 3-5:50 pm Bryan Berenguer
    VMW 134 Wines of the Pacific NW MONDAY Lecture 6-8:50 pm Bryan Berenguer
    VMW 122 Intro to Winemaking TUESDAY Lecture 3:5:50 pm Johnny Brose
    VMW 244 Wine Production WEDNESDAY Lecture 3-6:50 pm/Lab 7-7:50 pm
    SATURDAY Lab 9-1:50 pm
    Johnny Brose
    VMW 117 Fall Vineyard Practices THURSDAY Lecture 1-3:50 pm/Lab 4-5:50 pm Bryan Berenguer
    VMW 131 Wine Appreciation THURSDAY Lecture 3-5:50 pm Johnny Brose
    VMW 222 Science of Winemaking ONLINE Scott Dwyer
    VMW 290 Wine Studies Capstone TUESDAY 3-4:50 + two hours online (HYBRID)
    Five week course from 10/24-11/26/22
    Bryan Berenguer
  • Visit the Chemeketa Cellars website

    Chemeketa Cellars

    Wine Studies at Chemeketa offers a hands-on continuing education and degree program focusing on all aspects of wine from grape to glass. Our own on-site, 8-acre vineyard and winery provide students an opportunity to learn the depth and breadth of vineyard management and winemaking, from the growing of the grape to harvesting, chemistry, production, and the selling of the wine. The Wine Studies program is located at the Northwest Wine Studies Center, which is a leading wine industry resource emphasizing strong alliances with the Northwest wine industry. It is also home to the winery and tasting room for Chemeketa Cellars. 

    Chemeketa Cellars, in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, is where past, present and future winemakers gather to collaborate on wine growing and making methods. Using our vineyard’s world-class fruit to create award-winning wines, students and faculty exchange knowledge to craft bold new styles that fully express the terroir of our gathering place at Chemeketa Eola, on the bank of the Willamette River in West Salem, Oregon. 

    Visit our website to learn more about Chemeketa's winery:

  • Community Education Classes

    CURRENT CLASSES (visit the Chemeketa Cellars website for more information): 

    Wine Appreciation: Wines of Italy
    1/13/2023, 6-8 pm: Piedmont, Italy - Register here
    2/10/2023, 6-8 pm: Tuscany, Italy - Register here
    3/17/2023, 6-8 pm: Italy (Region TBA) - Register here
    4/7/2023, 6-8 pm: Italy (Region TBA) - Register here
    5/12/2023, 6-8 pm: Italy (Region TBA) - Register here

    Paint and Sip Workshop - Vineyard Rows (Acrylics) with Patricia Young
    Saturday, January 21, 2023, 2-5 PM

    Paint and Sip Workshop - Watercolors with Elisa Mack
    Saturday, February 11, 2023, 3-6 pm

    Sprayer Calibration Workshop
    Saturday, March 18, 2023
    Details TBA

    Charcuterie Workshop - Grazing Fields Charcuterie
    Date TBA

    Mother's Day Teacup Floral Arrangement + Wine
    Friday, May 12, 2023, 6-8 pm

    Summer Cut Flower Arrangement + Wine
    Saturday, August 26, 2023, 1-3 pm

    Holiday Wreath Workshop
    Date TBA - December 2023

    Check back for info on upcoming classes, including: 

    Charcuterie Workshop
    Yoga + Wine with Mikki Trowbridge - Summer 2023
    Wine Appreciation
    Murder Mystery Dinner
    Trivia Night