PSS Faculty to Teach Experiential Education Class in Wine Appreciation

PSS Faculty to Teach Experiential Education Class in Wine Appreciation

PSS Faculty to Teach Experiential Education Class in Wine Appreciation

Published on Jun. 17, 2013

LEXINGTON, KY (June 17th, 2013) -As interest in vineyards and wineries in the state has seen a resurgence in recent years, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture has assisted producers in the re-establishment of these enterprises. This fall, the college will begin assisting on another level – by offering courses that will enhance career opportunities for students interested in entering the industry.

UK specialists have always helped grape growers improve profitability and grape and wine quality. They work with growers to plant vineyard varieties, teach pruning techniques and answer production questions. They also help wineries in their quests to make award-winning wines. With vineyard size and overall industry impact increasing throughout the state, the industry vitally needs professionals trained in this field. The college’s new courses will respond to that need.

These courses will serve students in such diverse areas as horticulture, plant and soil science, agricultural economics and hospitality management. The extensive family farm experience of faculty and specialists will provide students the opportunity to develop skills they can use in both the production and the hospitality industries, whether that is in local wineries or international companies.

The first offering will be an experiential education class in wine appreciation for students 21 and older.

“As teachers, we look for ideas that students find interesting and relevant and that provide something they can build on as they go through the rest of their lives,” said Plant and Soil Sciences Professor Mike Barrett, who will teach the course. “This course fits into the surge in wine interest I see happening in Kentucky and, really, the entire country.”

Wineries are a part of agritourism, which is an important aspect of the agriculture landscape in Kentucky. Nearly all wineries in Kentucky use a tasting room, and Barrett sees his course providing knowledgeable staff to run them. The wine appreciation course lecture topics will include wine history, viticulture, winemaking and an overview of the major wine producing areas of the world. Exercises will develop the student’s nose and palate. A field trip is planned to a local vineyard and winery, so students can see the process from grape to wine. They will also have a chance to discuss winemaking with the winemaker.

For more, here is a link to complete story from the college news site.

Addtional coverage (July 2nd, 2013) of this story from the Lexington Herald-Leader here.

Contact Information

Rebecca McCulley, Ph.D.
Department Chair

105 Plant Sciences Building Lexington, KY 40546-0312

(859) 257-5020