At the Regional Sites
Texas Tech University at Fredericksburg Grape Harvest
By Jessica Thomas, Section Manager
The Hill Country is the second largest grape-growing region in the state. When the fall semester begins, the time comes to harvest grapes from the teaching vineyard at Texas Tech University at Fredericksburg. Early in the morning, students file out into the vineyard to collect bunches of ripened Aglianico grapes, a red wine variety native to southern Italy.
As the sun comes up, so do the conversations between students and faculty. Edward Hellman, Ph.D., professor of viticulture and enology, conducts this program in support of the Texas grape and wine industry. All students need for the handpicking harvest is a pair of secateurs and grape baskets. Bunches are cut off each vine and placed into the basket, ensuring there is no damage to the vines or the grapes on the bunch.
Grapes and wine have grown into Texas culture and the programs available at TTU Fredericksburg. With its excellent soil and climate, the Texas Hill Country has become an appreciated viticultural region. According to the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association, Texas is the site of the first vineyard established in North America (circa 1662).
The TTU at Fredericksburg site offers programs in viticulture and enology to fit student objectives. Options include a Bachelor of Science in Plant and Soil Science with a concentration in Viticulture and Enology to professional certificate programs for those seeking to develop job skills or make a career change.
The viticulture certificate program is designed for wine industry entrepreneurs and prospective vineyard managers. Through this hands-on training in the teaching vineyard, students learn grapevine biology, vine nutrition, vineyard development and practices, and so much more.
With more than 50 wineries located with a 50-mile radius of the city, there are numerous internship and career opportunities for TTU Plant and Soil Science students.
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