SRJC Wine Studies Program

Written By: Dr. Kevin Sea, Wine Studies Program Coordinator and Benjamin Goldstein, Dean of Agriculture and Culinary Arts
Published: December 28, 2018

Sonoma County is one of the top wine-producing regions of the world, and there is no better place for students and industry professionals to immerse themselves in wine studies than at Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC). The Wine Studies Program at SRJC is designed to prepare students for mid-level positions in the wine industry and to offer career advancement opportunities for individuals already employed in the industry.

The SRJC Wine Studies Program is a comprehensive program covering production, analysis, sensory evaluation, marketing and sales of wine. Classes are taught by accomplished industry professionals who bring first-hand experience and expertise directly into the classroom. Moreover, Wine Studies students have an opportunity for hands-on learning at the Shone Farm Winery, a bonded and fully operational 600-case/year estate winery situated in the heart of the Russian River Valley.

The complete Wine Studies Program leads to either an Associate in Science Degree or a Certificate of Achievement in one of three areas of concentration: Enology, Wine Evaluation and Service, and Wine Sales and Marketing. The first part of the program includes core courses that give students foundational knowledge and skills in world viticulture and wine styles, enology, sensory analysis, and winery operations. In the second part of the program, students select their area of concentration.

However, many Sonoma County wine industry professionals and wine enthusiasts take just one or two classes at SRJC to gain new knowledge and skills. We welcome full-time students, industry skill-builders, and community members alike.

There are several exciting initiatives underway in the SRJC Wine Studies Program. First is an expansion of the Shone Farm Winery to add additional tank capacity that will enable Wine Studies students more experience producing commercial lots of wine. Second, we recently welcomed Sally Srok, former President of Direct-to-Consumer at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, as a new instructor and consultant to Shone Farm Winery to involve students in the revamp of our e-commerce, wine club, and tasting room operations, and to create a comprehensive sales and marketing strategy for the winery. Third, we are working closely with Sonoma State University (SSU) to develop a transfer pathway from the SRJC Wine Studies program into the SSU Wine Business Institute.

Finally, the Shone Farm Winery will be ramping up its annual production under the expertise of consulting winemaker Mark Stupitch, formerly at Kenwood Vineyards. Located in the Warren G. Dutton Jr. Agricultural Pavilion at Shone Farm, the winery utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and winemaking practices to ensure the production of premium, estate-grown wines indicative of the Russian River appellation. Be on the lookout for the reboot of the Shone Farm Wine Club and the launch of our expanded tasting room operation in 2019, and help support the growth of the wine industry workforce in Sonoma County!

For more information on the SRJC Wine Studies program, please visit our website: https://ag.santarosa.edu/wine-studies

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