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Wine cellar worker training is focus of new Santa Rosa Junior college program

Digging deeper into the specialties in the wine business, an area community college is touting a new degree or certificate it says can lead to a job as a wine cellar worker.

Santa Rosa Junior College has announced it will offer either a degree or a certificate in the job through its wine studies program. Students who pursue a certificate will be required to take only wine classes, while an Associate of Arts degree course path will include wine classes and general education classes.

In preparing participants for a job as wine cellar worker, the program focuses on the theory and practices used in the production of wine, including basic grape growing practices and vineyard decisions, steps in the winemaking process from harvest to bottling, basic wine lab analyses, and the use of winery production equipment.

And if the students seeks a larger career path, the college stated that wine cellar workers can move up to jobs as assistant winemakers or wine laboratory technicians. Further, they can take the few additional classes required for the separate enology certificate or major.

The “Wine Studies: Wine Cellar Worker” and “Wine Studies: Enology” degrees differ primarily in the chemistry and wine lab classes required for the enology certificate.

“We are incredibly pleased to offer this new program. There is great demand for qualified wine cellar workers in the North Bay. Historically, cellar workers have come to us for training. Now they can leave with a certificate or degree to document their hard work,” said Kevin Sea, professor and coordinator of the SRJC Wine Studies Program.

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