VESTA Course Catalog

Click on the course code to view the course schedule. Click on the Video Introduction to meet the instructor and get an overview of the course.

Course Video Title Description Semesters
GEO 1000 Introduction to GIS and Cartography (Syllabus)

Geographic Information Systems (GIS), their capabilities, uses, and limitations. Basic
cartographic concepts including manipulation, analysis, and graphic representation of
spatial information. Emphasis on technology of map design principles with GIS and
desktop mapping programs.

Prerequisite: None

FALL 2019
VIN 105 Molecular Principles in Grape and Wine (Syllabus)

This course puts emphasis on chemical fundamentals, organic, biochemistry, and applications with a focus on the grape and wine industry. It is recommended for students needing one semester of general chemistry as a prerequisite for VIN 268 Wine and Must Analysis.

Prerequisite: None

SPRING 2019
FALL 2019
VIN 106 Physics for the Wine Industry (Syllabus)

Introduction to physical theories covering the content areas of mechanics, fluids, sounds, thermodynamics and their relationship to the grape and wine industry.

Prerequisites: MTH 103-Intermediate Algebra or higher

SPRING 2019
FALL 2019
VIN 110 VIN 110 Intro Introduction to Wine Microorganisms (Syllabus)

This course is an introduction to the variety of microorganisms frequently encountered in the wine making process but beneficial and harmful. Topics include identification, physiology, morphology and biochemistry of various wine microorganisms.

Prerequisite: None

SPRING 2019
FALL 2019
VIN 111 VIN 111 Intro Introduction to Viticulture (Syllabus)

This course is designed to introduce students to current practices for establishing a commercial vineyard and maintaining its health and productivity once established. Topics covered include varietal selection, site preparation, equipment, site selection, first season establishment, vine growth development and training, trellis systems, vine propagation, weed control and vine disease control. Field practicum sessions consisting of 16 hours of hands-on experience will be scheduled in area vineyards.

Prerequisite: None

SPRING 2019
SUMMER 2019
FALL 2019
VIN 112 VIN 112 Intro Botanical Viticulture

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the plant kingdom and to examine grapevine form and function from a botanical perspective.  Topics to be covered include the specific characteristics of plants that distinguish them from other forms of life, divisions within the plant kingdom with representative members of each, and plant classification.  Plant cells, tissues, life cycles, structures and functions, especially as applied to grapevines will also be discussed, along with various aspects of plant and grapevine physiology, such as photosynthesis, respiration, nutrition, cold acclimation and hardiness, and dormancy.

Prerequisite: None

FALL 2019
VIN 117 VIN 117 intro Cold Climate Viticulture and Enology (Syllabus)

This course offers a practical understanding of the obstacles and promise of growing grapes and making wine in cold climates.  Topics relating to cold climate production include history, physical limits of grapes, successful varieties, viticulture and enology methods for producing quality cold climate wine, the state of cold climate research, a review of resources, and marketing strategies in cold climate regions.

Prerequisite(s): VIN 111 or VIN 146

SPRING 2019
VIN 130 VIN 130 Intro Wine Business Feasibility (Syllabus)

This course provides a systematic look at the different components of a successful wine or vineyard brand and assists students in creating a plan for a profitable business. Students will be exposed to key aspects of the business, including the regulatory climate for making and selling wine or grapes, financial frameworks to develop a vineyard and/or winery or to create a virtual brand, and different models for profitability. Every student will be given the tools and frameworks to critically evaluate this competitive landscape and make decisions on a course of action.

Prerequisite: None

FALL 2019
VIN 132 VIN 132 Intro Entrepreneurial Finance for Vineyard and Winery Business (Syllabus)

This course focuses on the financing decisions faced by entrepreneurs. During the first section of this course students will learn the basics of financial accounting and planning, including financial statements and pro forma preparation and analysis. In the second section, students are introduced to the concepts of financial management, including the time value of money, profitability and break-even analysis, capital budgeting and management, and cash flow analysis. The third section of the course focuses on analyzing capital funding and financing options and needs, including business valuation models and raising capital through debt, equity, and community resources.

Prerequisite: None

SPRING 2019
VIN 146 VIN 146 Intro Introduction to Enology (Syllabus)

VIN 146 is a 15-week course based on the fundamentals of the science and technology of winemaking. Introduction to Enology targets the home winemaker and those in terested in exploring winemaking as a career, either as a cellar worker or as a new winery owner. During this course, students will build a basic understanding of winemaking, including making wine from a kit. This course is part of VESTA's viticulture and enology program with emphasis on the practical aspects of winemaking.

Prerequisite: None

SPRING 2019
SUMMER 2019
FALL 2019
VIN 147 VIN 147 Intro Fruit Wine Production (Syllabus)

This course will cover the history of fruit wine making, starting a fruit winery, production processes, quality control, faults and flaws, stability tests, marketing and sales, and legal regulations.. Students will get an understanding of the special idiosyncrasies of the various fruits available to make commercial grade fruit wine.

Prerequisite: VIN 146 - Introduction to Enology 

SPRING 2019
VIN 148 VIN 148 Intro Winery Sanitation (Syllabus)

This is a course in the basic science and technology of winery sanitation. The course serves as an introduction to wine microbiology and covers all methods used for winery sanitation including premises, tanks, pumps, filters, oak barrels and sampling equipment, including but not limited to chemical agents, reagents, and thermal treatments leading to sterile bottling. Environmental issues and compliance are also addressed.

Prerequisite: VIN 146 - Introduction to Enology 

SPRING 2019
FALL 2019
VIN 160 VIN 160 Intro Winery Equipment Operation (Syllabus)

This course covers process technologies and process systems that are used in modern commercial wineries. The course will include lectures and demonstrations.   Overview of winemaking systems including winemaking operations and equipment, barrel aging and barrel management, membrane separation processes, specialized contacting systems, cleaning and sanitation systems, process control systems. refrigeration systems, air conditioning and humidity systems, electrical systems, waste water systems, solid waste handling, and work place safety.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Enology VIN146 (recommended) or permission. 

SPRING 2019
VIN 174 VIN 174 Intro Wines of the World (Syllabus)

This course is appropriate for commercial winemakers who want to understand how the wines that they produce compare and contrast with the most popular and important wine styles around the globe.  It will also be of benefit to the wine enthusiast who is interested in reaching advanced levels of appreciation and an understanding of global benchmarks.  Students will practice sensory analysis at home to further their sensory evaluation skills and techniques. Students must be 21.

Prerequisite: None

FALL 2019
VIN 197 Grape and Wine Technology

An in depth study of current and emerging wine technologies.  This special topics course is presented as a collaboration of VESTA and the Michigan Wine Collaborative at the 2019 VESTA National Summit and the Michigan Wine Collaborative Conference in Traverse City, Michigan. 

SUMMER 2019
VIN 202 Legal Aspects of Vineyard and Winery Operation (Syllabus)

This course will introduce students to the general concepts and issues relating to the creation and operation of a commercial vineyard and winery.  The course iwll explain general legal concepts related to real estate ownership, review and analyze typical contracts affecting vineyard/winery ownership and operations, compare and contrast various business formation and operation concepts, outline insurance and other business operation needs of the commercial vineyard/winery owner or manager, identify and discuss governmental agencies and regulation affecting commercial vineyard/winery ownership and management, introduce and analyze employment relationships, and describe miscellaneous legal issues and areas specifically related to the operation of a vineyard.

Prerequisite(s): none

FALL 2019
VIN 211 VIN 211 Intro Integrated Pest Management (Syllabus)

Effective grape production depends on the grower developing a system of grape management that is appropriate for each vineyard. Decisions need to be made for how to manage all of the normal cultural practices such as planting, fertility, harvesting, and pruning as well as managing the insect, disease, and weed problems that occur either regularly or sporadically. The information in this course will address management issues related to common, expected pest problems as well as the occasional appearance of minor pest problems.

Prerequisite: None

FALL 2019
VIN 212 VIN 212 Intro Winter Viticulture Technology (Syllabus)

This course (previously VIN 113) is designed to provide students initiated in the field of viticulture practical experience in winter vineyard operations. Students are required to partner with an approved vineyard to participate in the required field experience portion of the course which will serve as work experience for those seeking employment in commercial viticulture.

Prerequisite: VIN 111 - Introduction to Viticulture

SPRING 2019
VIN 213 Regional Vineyard Management (Syllabus)

This course is a study of commercial grape growing across the United States. Topics include cultivars, vine nutrition, irrigation, canopy management, pests, maturity sampling and harvest, balanced pruning/cropping and cold injury.

Prerequisite: VIN 111-Introduction to Viticulture and VIN 212-Winter Viticulture Technology or permission.

FALL 2019
VIN 214 VIN 214 Intro Spring Viticulture Technology (Syllabus)

This course (previously VIN 114) is designed to provide students initiated in the field of viticulture practical experience in spring vineyard operations. Students are required to partner with an approved vineyard to participate in the required field experience portion of the course which will serve as work experience for those seeking employment in commercial viticulture.

Prerequisite: VIN 111 - Introduction to Viticulture

SPRING 2019
VIN 215 VIN 115 Intro Summer/Fall Viticulture Technology (Syllabus)

This course (previously VIN 115) is designed to provide students initiated in the field of viticulture practical experience in summer/fall vineyard operations.  Students are required to partner with an approved vineyard to participate in the required field experience portion of the course which will serve as work experience for those seeking employment in commercial viticulture.

Prerequisite: VIN 111-Introduction to Viticulture or consent of the instructor or VIN 212 (formerly VIN 113)-Winter Viticulture Technology (recommended).

SPRING 2019
VIN 246 Intermediate Enology-Harvest/Crush (Syllabus)

This course in the science and technology of winemaking is intended for the experienced intermediate winemaker, the winery employee interested in career development, or the advanced home winemaker that is seeking new challenges. Basic organic chemistry, microbiology, and some mathematics familiarity are recommended.

Prerequisite: VIN 146-Introduction to Enology or permission

FALL 2019
VIN 247 VIN 247 Intro Intermediate Enology-Post Harvest (Syllabus)

This course in the science and technology of winemaking is intended for the experienced intermediate winemaker, the winery employee interested in career development, or the advanced home winemaker that is seeking new challenges. This course will focus on advanced science and technology concepts of winemaking as it relates to post-harvest activities including blending corrections, aging of wine, clarification, fining, wine analysis, and bottling. Basic organic chemistry, microbiology, and some mathematics familiarity are recommended.

Prerequisites: VIN 146 (VIN 105 and VIN 110 recommended)

SPRING 2019
VIN 257 Fall Wine Production Internship (Syllabus)

This course is designed for the individual anticipating a career in the wine industry.  This course (internship) is designed to provide a student who has completed major course sequences with an intense level of practical and realistic winery operation experiences, sufficient to equip him/her with sufficient skills and work experience for an entry-level position in the wine industry. Students involved in this program will participate in a full time Crush Season internship at a supporting winery, and are expected to use the time and opportunities to further their understanding of the winemaking process and common winery operations.

Prerequisite: VIN 146-Introduction to Enology, VIN 148-Winery Sanitation, VIN 160-Winery Equipment Operation, VIN 246-Intermediate Enology-Harvest/Crush, and VIN 247-Intermediate Enology-Post Harvest, or permission 

FALL 2019
VIN 259 Cellar Operation Technology (Syllabus)

This course is designed to provide students initiated in the field of enology with actual and practical exposure to the technology of wine making as is performed during the passive vineyard periods associated with winter. The student is expected to improve his understanding of the methods and science involved by on-site participation in each of the various activities associated with finished wine production. The course is designed to serve as actual practical exposure and may qualify as experience for those seeking employment in commercial enology.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Enology - VIN 146, Winery Sanitation - VIN 148, Winery Equipment Operation - VIN 160, Intermediate Enology - VIN 246 or permission

SPRING 2019
VIN 266 VIN 266 Intro Sensory Evaluation (Syllabus)

This is a course intended for those individuals who need to develop an understanding of the principles of sensory evaluation used in commercial wine making. It will also be of benefit to the wine enthusiast who is interested in reaching advanced levels of appreciation as well as to the producer, the wine merchant, and ultimately the enologist, who by the nature of their profession need to discern flavors and establish tasting benchmarks.  Students will utilize sensory kits and workshops to further their sensory evaluation skills and techniques.  Students must be 21.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Enology-VIN 146 or permission.

SPRING 2019
FALL 2019
VIN 268 VIN 268 Intro Wine and Must Analysis (Syllabus)

Principles of grape juice and wine analysis and the reasons for use of each analysis. Analyses of a practical and useful nature are chosen for the laboratory exercises demonstrating various chemical, physical and biochemical methods. Students will participate in workshops and hands-on experiences at participating wineries.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Enology-VIN 146 and CHM 105 or permission

SPRING 2019
FALL 2019
VIN 270 VIN 270 Intro Marketing for the Small Winery (Syllabus)

This course explores the marketing strategies for small wineries. During the course, students will build a basic understanding of different aspects of marketing such as label design and packaging, tasting room promotion, and general marketing principles. It will also introduce various marketing channels including, social media, e-mail, word-of-mouth, and winery web sites.

Prerequisite: None

FALL 2019
VIN 272 VIN 272 Intro Winery Tasting Room Management (Syllabus)

This course will explore all aspects of managing a winery tasting room.  It will cover topics such as tasting room “look and feel,” merchandizing, customer service, customer relationships, sales opportunities, sensory evaluation, staff training and the importance of leadership.  The focus will be on customer service and customer loyalty.

Prerequisite: None

SPRING 2019
VIN 275 Adv. Financial Management for the Wine Business Entrepreneur (Syllabus)

This course integrates grape and wine production with the management of a commercial operation and its strategic business units.  In the process, marketing, financial management, strategic business management, legal structures, leadership organization development and the breadth of the value chain are all examined as they relate to a commercial grape and wine production facility. 

FALL 2019
VIN 276 Advanced Tasting Room Management (Syllabus)

This course expands on winery tasting room management, delving deeper into the “front of the house success”, focusing on tasting room design and start-up, legal and compliance issues, budgeting, finance and profitability metrics. The students will explore destination marketing, in-house and on-the-road sales practices, as well as wine club and e-commerce success. Staff training and development, leadership in the tasting room and staff retention will also be discussed. This course is designed for winery tasting room owners, managers and key sales staff who desire to expand their knowledge about the interplay of customer service, marketing and winery sales.

Prerequisites: VIN 130, VIN 132

FALL 2019
VIN 280 Winery Establishment and Design (Syllabus)

Winery Establishment and Design is a 12-week course that will review the basic winery establishment and design. The course will cover county, state and federal requirements, people you need to hire and vetting, winery layout, winery economics, equipment, winery staffing and marketing. The goal of this course is to provide the student with the necessary knowledge and tools to begin a winery project.  

Prerequisites: VIN 130, VIN 132

SPRING 2019
VIN 290 VIN 290 Intro Vineyard and Winery Safety (Syllabus)

An introduction to safety and procedures specific to the vineyard and winery.  This course will include general history of food and beverage safety and health issues, ergonomics, OSHA safety rules and safety issues and concerns specific to the grape and wine industry.

Prerequisite: None

SPRING 2019
FALL 2019
VIN 293 VIN 293 Intro Soils for Viticulture (Syllabus)

The course will explore soil properties and behavior and their influence on wines. The course focuses not only on growth and production, but on the long-term effects of viticulture on soil
quality and the wider environment. 

Prerequisite: None

SPRING 2019
FALL 2019