NORTH BAY – Napa Valley College’s Viticulture and Winery Technology Program is having a release party for its 2010 estate wines.

Napa Valley College is releasing the ’08 Syrah, ’09 Sauvignon Blanc, ’09 Vintners White Cuvee, and ’09 Vintners Red Cuvee. The event will take place at 5:30 p.m. May 25 behind the Napa Valley Vintners’ Teaching Winery on campus in the college vineyard. There will be wine and food pairing and faculty, staff and the students of the program will be present.

Napa Valley College was the first California Community College with a bonded winery, allowing the sale of college wine. The Viticulture and Winery Technology Program is headed by Dr. Stephen Krebs, program coordinator, who also serves as vineyard manager. Bryan Avila is winemaker and Greg Siewert, assistant winemaker.

"Since I started at the college in 1986, I have enjoyed working with thousands of highly motivated students who have gone on to great careers in the industry.  It is the loving dedication of these talented individuals that makes NVC wines so special,” said Dr. Krebs.

The process of bonding the college winery was initiated several years ago. First, Senate Bill 220, authored by Sen. Wes Chesbro and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005, authorized Napa Valley College to seek bonding.

Then the NVC Viticulture and Winery Technology Foundation was established to administer the bonding process.  It is headed by Dr. Stephen Krebs.  The board of directors consists of VWT Winemaker and Winery Technology instructor Bryan Avila; NVC Board of Trustees members Michael Baldini, Bruce Ketron and Steven Reinbolt; and community members Sue Fiore and Emma Swain.  Additional support is provided by Sue Nelson, vice president of instruction, and Scott Miller, vice president of business and finance.

The bond allows the college to sell up to 1,000 cases a year

The college also announced the Viticulture and Winery Technology Department has successfully completed the implementation of Winemaker’s Data Base, allowing students to learn winery management software programs to further their winemaking skills before entering the wine industry workforce.

“This implementation will allow our students to become familiar with the software program that they will most likely encounter in the workplace,” said Mr. Avila.

“Up until this time, the college winery had been keeping track of the many complex winery procedures by using spreadsheets and paper notebooks. This new software will enable us to keep our records electronically, and make it easier to comply with the various regulatory agency reporting requirements,” said Mr. Siewert, assistant winemaker.

Leighton Richardson of The Winemaker’s Database Inc., donated the software to the college.

Santa Rosa Junior College also has a wine program. In the fall of 2006, the wine laboratory and Sonoma County Wineries and Grape Growers Association Conference and Learning Center opened in the Warren G. Dutton Jr. Agriculture Pavilion at Shone Farm. The are 365 acres of vineyards, orchards, and flower and vegetable gardens.