UC Davis

Davis, California

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Viticulture and Enology at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Could there be a more romantic major than wine? Students of viticulture and enology swish mouthfuls of Merlot and compare them to notes of coffee, lavender, wormwood and star anise for a grade. They roam the campus vineyards with a professor and classmates who don wide-brimmed sun hats as they test grape leaves for their hydration. They can crush grapes, ferment wine and travel to France for internships. Come study grape growing (viticulture) and winemaking (enology) along with a dose of statistical analysis at one of the most highly ranked public universities in the nation and the world.

Major Requirements

The viticulture and enology major stresses the scientific aspects of the discipline, and requires you to complete a thorough grounding in the natural sciences before you proceed to more advanced courses. At the upper division, you will take courses in at least three of five main areas: plant science, food science and microbiology, economics and business, foreign language and internships. This well-rounded program provides you with a balance of skills needed for understanding and advancement in your career.

Master of Science

Offering two options for Master of Science (MS) degrees, the Viticulture & Enology Graduate Group (VENGG) allows students to cater the program to their academic and career goals. Along with a rigorous and adaptable curriculum, students in the VENGG are exposed to cutting-edge research and current issues in the wine industry through independent research and internship opportunities.  Through the guidance of notable faculty and close relations with industry and alumni, the VENGG provides a collaborative network for students to move forward in their careers. Graduates of the program are among notable wine industry professionals in California and throughout the world.

VENGG offers advanced studies ranging from the genetics, physiology, and biochemistry of grapevines; the chemistry, microbiology, and sensory science of wines; and the chemical and process engineering of winemaking. Research topics can vary; examples include the molecular biology of grapevines, bacteria, or yeast; the grape and wine chemistry associated with fermentation and aging; and the correlation of analytical and sensory analyses. While only the MS is offered through this program, PhD studies are offered through one of the following related graduate groups: agricultural and environmental chemistry, chemical engineering, food science, genetics, microbiology, plant Biology, soils and biogeochemistry.

“I chose to study at UC Davis because of the professors who teach here.  I was impressed by the quality and volume of journal articles they have published through the years using the old winery and small research laboratories.  With the completion of the new winery and lab space, I knew the possibilities for research were limitless.  The professors continue to utilize their elaborate industry network to provide opportunities for students, facilitating relevant research projects that shed light on the mysteries of viticulture and enology. The level of curiosity here is inspiring.” – Aaron Whitlatch, Graduate Student

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  • BS in Viticulture and Enology
  • MS in Viticulture and Enology

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