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Viticulture

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Welcome to Viticulture at SRJC!

ViticultureWhen you experience your first Viticulture class at Santa Rosa Junior College, you'll become part of Sonoma County's #1 agricultural industry! The stellar reputation of SRJC's Viticulture Program is well known throughout Sonoma County and California, so students can feel confident that they are building their careers on an outstanding tradition.

The Field of Viticulture

Successful viticulturists in today's wine grape industry must be experts in the complex relationships between grape growing and wine production. As a student in SRJC's Viticulture Program, your studies will focus on growing grapes for winemaking, vineyard seasonal practices, and vineyard management. Students will be introduced to enology, the science of wine fermentation and winery operations.

Excellent Employment Options

SRJC's Viticulture Program prepares students for careers that value viticulture's unique practices. With the wine industry growing across the state, career opportunities are abundant for viticulture graduates.

Vineyard Manager
Vineyard Crew Supervisor
Viticulture Technician
Grower Representative
Grower Liaison - between grower and winemaker
Viticulturist - grape grower consultant
PCA - pest control advisor

Quality Instruction

SRJC's staff and faculty continually strive for excellence in agriculture education, so students can be sure that the instruction is provided by top notch experts in the field. Students have many opportunities to meet with and learn from local wine grape industry professionals, as well as visiting diverse vineyards in Sonoma County's appellations, or the different geographical grape growing regions that produce distinctive wine grape qualities.

Touring beautiful local vineyards is always a special treat for students. The Sonoma County wine industry as a whole offers experience and expertise to the students in the classroom; in fact, SRJC's viticulture instructors are all wine grape industry professionals. While most classes are held at Shone Farm, some are scheduled on SRJC's main campus in Santa Rosa.

Full-time faculty - Merilark Padgett-Johnson
Adjunct faculty

Earn a Degree or Certificate

By earning a two-year associate degree or a career certificate in Viticulture, you will be well on your way to becoming employed in the dynamic winegrowing industry. Viticulture students can earn an associate in science degree and a career certificate concurrently to prepare for employment in the wine grape industry.

Classes are organized to enable students to meet the requirements for an associate degree in four semesters as well as a certificate. If students do not wish to complete the degree requirements they may earn a viticulture career certificate after fulfilling certificate requirements.

Students are encouraged to meet with the agriculture career counselor in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department to develop an educational plan. There are numerous work study opportunities and scholarships available specifically for viticulture students.

Viticulture

Viticulture Program Highlights

  • The Viticulture Program offers classes in growing grapes for wine
  • There are short courses (1 to 2 weekends), as well as semester length courses
  • Hands-on classes are held at the Shone Farm Vineyards
  • Learn about the seasonal operations that occur at different times in the vineyard
  • Learn about how grape growing practices influence wine quality

Class Offerings

  • World Viticulture and Wine Styles
  • Fall Viticultural Practices
  • Spring Viticultural Practices
  • Summer Viticultural Practices
  • Vineyard Pruning
  • Pruning Techniques for Vine Balance
  • Grapevine Physiology
  • Organic Viticulture
  • Fruit Quality Assurance
  • Vineyard Management
  • Advanced Viticultural Practices
  • Spring Budding and Grafting
  • Basic Wine Grape Viticulture
  • Vineyard Irrigation and Fertilization
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Soil and Plant Nutrition

Shone Farm

Shone Farm VineyardSRJC Viticulture students learn by actively pursuing their education and training at SRJC's beautiful 365-acre Shone Farm situated on the Russian River near Forestville. Located in the heart of Sonoma County's wine grape industry and offering quality instruction in traditional classrooms and in the field, Shone Farm is literally an outdoor field laboratory for year-round, hands-on learning. Students also greatly benefit by visiting and learning from growers and managers in the field and from local viticulture experts.

Shone Farm includes the new Warren G. Dutton Jr., Agricultural Pavilion, which houses the Shone Farm Winery where students can learn firsthand how grapes are processed into wine. In addition to the production vineyard blocks, a new teaching block planted with many different varieties of grapes will help students learn to identify the various varieties of wine grapes. Hands-on instruction is provided on approximately 70 acres of wine grapes that are commercially farmed and sold to several of Sonoma County's top wineries. For example, Benzinger Winery includes the name "Shone Farm" on the label of their Sauvignon blanc wine made from Shone Farm grapes.

See the Shone Farm Vineyard Map (PDF). You may need to download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the PDF.

Contact Us

Merilark Padgett-Johnson
Program Coordinator/Instructor
Telephone: (707) 527-4987
Fax: (707) 527-4651
E-mail: mpadgettjohnson@santarosa.edu
Room 2093, Lark Hall, Santa Rosa Campus

Viticulture Faculty

Adjunct Faculty

Advisory Committee

See the Viticulture Advisory Committee

Classes

For information about class offerings, access SRJC’s current Schedule of Classes.