Industry and Academic Support

Advancing the Grape and Wine Industry. Advancing Your Dreams.

The success of VESTA is because of the continual collaboration with industry experts. Each year, the VESTA National Summit is a chance for industry representatives, instructors, Viticulture & Enology content experts, students, and an advisory committee to gather and discuss current and future needs of the workforce. Revising the curriculum as needed, VESTA ensures that our educational materials are relevant and appropriate in the development of a knowledgeable and well-trained workforce.

Supporting academia is fundamental to VESTA Resource Center. We are uniquely positioned to assist two-year colleges in developing and expanding Viticulture & Enology programs or other related agricultural fields. The Advanced Technological Education Program (ATE) offers grant money to assist colleges in the development of targeted workforce curriculum for high-technology fields. VESTA is prepared to mentor interested colleges in collaboration with Mentor-Connect.

Industry Involvement

Practicum Site Application Form         

VESTA seeks the involvement of commercial vineyards and wineries to serve as field practicum sites for our students.  Knowledgeable and experienced representatives of these companies would serve as mentors for our students and receive a stipend for sharing their expertise.  To ensure that VESTA students receive a valuable learning experience during these field practicums, vineyards and wineries must meet the following requirements.


  1. Minimum 3 years as a Commercial Vineyard with 3 commercial harvests.
  2. 500+ vines preferred but not required.
  3. Two different varietals preferred but not required.
  4. Mentor must have a minimum of 3 years of commercial vineyard experience.
  5. Willingness to provide a training experience for the VESTA student.
  6. Click here to view the field practicum tasks related to the viticulture courses.


  1. 3+ employees (including working owners and temporary/part time employees).
  2. 5+ years as a commercial operation.
  3. 5,000 gallons of production preferred but not required.
  4. An active Barrel program preferred but not required.
  5. Active utilization of the following equipment: Crusher, Destemmer, Press, Filtration system, Bottling line, Pumps.
  6. Mentor must have a minimum of 3 years of commercial winery experience.
  7. Willingness to provide a training experience for the VESTA student.
  8. Click here to view the field practicum tasks related to the enology courses.

Mentor Responsibilities:

  • Providing on the ground experience that is linked to the coursework the student is completing.
  • Personal and detailed instruction by the mentor or their qualified personnel for the length of time required for the student to gain understanding and adequate experience to observe, assist or perform the identified task.
  • Maintaining OSHA safety standards related to the commercial operation.
  • Students are required to have appropriate insurance coverage and is expected to provide proof of this coverage.
  • Working with the student to arrange mutually agreeable times for the field practicum completion.
  • Allowing the student use of the facility's tools and equipment for work completion.
  • Working closely with the student to complete the Student Assessment Form within the designated time frame.
  • Working with the student to assure timely submission of the Student Assessment Form to the VESTA Program Office.

If you would like to have your vineyard or winery recognized as a VESTA Approved Field Practicum Site, meet or exceed the requirements to serve in this capacity, and have a willingness to work with students in the development of their grape growing and wine making skills, please complete and submit the  Practicum Site Application Form.  Approved VESTA Field Practicum sites are listed on the VESTA website. Click  here to view our approved sites.

We look forward to working with you as together we assure the continued development of a knowledgeable and well trained workforce for the grape and wine industry.