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Texas viticulture certificate program application window opens on June 1

Texas viticulture certificate program application window opens on June 1

Next fall the state’s thriving grape and wine industry will have a new group of trained professionals in the pipeline thanks to a program known as the, ‘Texas Viticulture Certificate Program.’ But before anyone can even gaze on a grape, they’ll need to apply to the program.

“We’ll have a new cohort of students for the Texas Viticulture Certificate Program in the fall, so it’s time for potential students to start thinking about getting their applications completed,” said Ed Hellman, a professor of viticulture and extension specialist with Texas AgriLife Extension and Texas Tech University. The application period runs from June 1-30, and the program begins Sept. 15.

A collaboration between Texas Tech’s Department of Plant and Soil Science and Texas AgriLife Extension, the certification program was designed for people with a serious interest in commercial grape production or professional work in the viticulture industry, said Hellman, who also serves as the program’s director. Students must successfully complete six program courses – five online and one practical –within a two-year period to receive professional certification.

Operating a commercial vineyard is a time-consuming and capital-intensive venture, so the people going through the program must be committed to that goal, Hellman said.

The viticulture certificate program curriculum includes grapevine biology; site assessment and vineyard development; and vine nutrition and water management. The remaining courses are canopy management and crop load management; disease, insect and weed management; and hands‐on vineyard practices. The cost of the two-year program is $3,200.

Written by Norman Martin

CONTACT: Ed Hellman, professor of viticulture with joint appointment with Texas AgriLife Extension, Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University at (806) 746-6101 or


Editor’s Note: For more information, go to


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