greatgrapesWe’re only at the PowerPoint stage, but I have a feeling that the Vineyard Management courses I’m taking at Kirkwood Community College will turn into an incredible hands-on experience.

Classes, which run from February through September, cover the basics of establishing a vineyard; costs; planting; pruning; trellis construction and more.

Students (there are eight in our class) who successfully complete the series of courses earn a Vineyard Management Certificate.

In just two sessions, our instructor, Lucas McIntire, has already been feeding us practical information that could either make or break a person’s decision to enter a viticulture career. Last night, he discussed netting and different methods of keeping birds, raccoons and other pests from devouring the vines and grapes. Soil quality, water issues, insects, diseases and site topography are among other considerations for Iowa vineyards.

Here is the course list:

  • Vineyard Establishment
  • Winter into Spring Vineyard Management
  • Spring Vineyard Management I
  • Spring Vineyard Management II
  • Summer Vineyard Management I
  • Summer Vineyard Management II
  • Harvest Vineyard Management I
  • Harvest Vineyard Management II

I’ll post photos and more info as the courses progress in coming months. In the meantime, you can read more about Kirkwood’s program here.