Texas Tech University

At the Regional Sites

TTU at Fredericksburg Offers WSET Wine Education Program

by Kelly Podzemny

Fredericksburg Wine

Students will taste and discuss more than 40 wines.

Fredericksburg Wine

Enology Instructor Maureen Qualia

Fredericksburg Wine

TTU at Fredericksburg's teaching vineyard.

Texas Tech University Higher Education Teaching Site at Fredericksburg (TTU at Fredericksburg) recently became an approved program provider for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). The regional site is currently offering its first WSET course that focuses on teaching students to taste wine professionally.

“We're excited to offer the Wine and Spirits Education Trust certification courses in the Hill Country,” Winemaking Certificate and Enology Instructor Maureen Qualia said. “This program will complement our existing certificate programs in viticulture and winemaking.”

WSET is the foremost international body in the field of wines and spirits education. It offers qualification programs designed for wine and spirits professionals employed at restaurants, retail stores, and tasting rooms to increase their product knowledge and advance their careers in the trade. They're also increasingly popular among enthusiasts and interested consumers who take the courses for their own personal enrichment.

The first course offered, WSET® Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits, started at TTU at Fredericksburg on April 4. Students learn the major grape varieties, where they're grown, and how to taste wine professionally using the WSET Systematic Approach to Tasting. More than 40 wines will be tasted and discussed. The class will continue to meet every Monday evening for six weeks and final certification exam will be given on May 16.

WSET is well suited to Fredericksburg due to the high number of wineries and vineyards in the area. The program also compliments other programs offered at TTU at Fredericksburg, including the Plant & Soil Sciences degree with a specialization in Viticulture & Enology, and two non-academic certificates in Texas Viticulture and Texas Winemaking.

TTU at Fredericksburg hopes to offer another WSET program in the near future.


In partnership with Central Texas College, Texas Tech University Higher Education Teaching Site at Fredericksburg is part of the Hill Country University Center. Many bachelor degrees and teacher certifications are offered. With state-of-the-art facilities, wine labs and a teaching vineyard, students can have hands-on learning experiences to prepare for a career in the winemaking industry.