Piedmont Virginia Community College is getting the ball rolling on its first course aimed at teaching others how to grow those grapes.
"I think it's a wonderful project. I've never heard about anything like this," said PVCC student Abu Bakkar Turay.
The non-credit workshop series, 18 months in the making, spawned from the growth of the wine industry in our area. Those working on the program said it just made perfect sense to offer such a comprehensive class.
"Albemarle county is one of the largest producers of grapes and wine in the entire state of Virginia," said PVCC vice president of instruction and student services, Marcy Stoll. "And we know that central Virginia is the heart of wine country in Virginia. And we thought it was a natural fit for PVCC to be working in this field."
The class will cover five subjects, including an introduction to wine making, soil preparation and planting, and wine business and marketing. The upcoming class has some local wineries very happy about the possibility of more skilled workers in the area.
"We're looking forward to developing a work force with them that can help us in the work force in the wineries," said Chad Zakaib.
So whether you're interested in the wine industry as a career or just a hobby some are already asking, 'When can I sign up?'.
"The response from the community for this program has just been enormous," said Stoll.
Virginia actually ranks 6th or 7th in the nation in the number of acres used specifically for wine production. PVCC hopes to start the course sometime in April or May. No word yet on the cost. The workshop could eventually lead to a full program at the school.