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Home > Programs > Food, Wine and Tourism > Viticulture Technician Diploma

Viticulture Technician Diploma

The Viticulture Technician Diploma is designed to deliver a quality learning experience for those interested in a career in the local or international grape and wine industry. The program will provide hands on, theoretical and practical knowledge to work as part of the vineyard/winery management team to plan, develop, plant and maintain a vineyard for the production of quality wine. The program is tailored around "the vine to wine concept," which will allow students to understand how to produce the best quality wines from the ground to the bottle. The diploma program is structured around the viticulture growing season, providing opportunities to develop and apply skills leading to sustainable practices within commercial vineyards.

The program benefits from its supportive local industry, the diverse mesoclimates within the Okanagan Valley, and national and international award-winning wineries. An exciting aspect of working in a vineyard is that nothing is routine, as nature and the vines exert their influence, creating an ever changing environment. Students will be exposed to this dynamic environment of viticulture and oenology, developing a range of skills and knowledge, including canopy management, pest control, pruning, training vines, sensory evaluation, occupational health and safety, operating equipment, harvesting and wine making. An integral aspect of the diploma is a paid co-op term to ensure students have a comprehensive understanding of the production practices and processes that enable employment within the industry. The co-op term will provide students with both vineyard and winery pre-crush experience.

This program provides students a stimulating and unique environment for training, supported by exposure to the latest technologies and mentorship from local experts with global backgrounds (i.e. Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, France and Italy).

Career opportunities:

Laboratory or Viticulture Technician
Vineyard Manager
Winery or Cellar Technician
Winemaker
Vineyard and Winery Equipment Sales Representative
Vineyard R&D Technician
Wine Sales and Promotion

Admission Requirements

B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent.

English 12 with minimum 60% or alternatives.

Biology 11, Life Sciences 11, or ABE equivalent.

Chemistry 11 (recommended)

Math - minimum of 67% in any of:

  • Pre-calculus Grade 11
  • Foundations of Mathematics Grade 11
  • Principles of Mathematics 11
  • Adult Basic Education MATH 011
  • Adult Basic Education MATH 084 and MATH 085
  • Adult Basic Education IALG 011

Mature applicants who are at least 19 years of age and have been out of full-time senior secondary study for at least one year may have the senior secondary graduation requirement waived. Mature applicants without English 12 can write the LPI and must receive a minimum score of level 4.

Mature applicants without Mathematics 11 must meet one of the following mathematics requirements:

  • A minimum score of 67% on the Mathematics 11 proficiency exam; or
  • A minimum score of 16/25 on the Mathematics diagnostic test

Mature applicants with long farming experience or enrolled in the part time modules may have the admission requirements waived.

Students must be physically able to safely perform the tasks required in the vineyard and winery, which will include pruning, lifting, climbing, bending, stretching, twisting, crawling and moving, lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling items weighing up to 50 lbs. Students will be required to taste, smell and check for optical clarity of wine, as well as visually inspect and sort wine grapes - checking for diseases and insects - during the growing season through harvest.

Year 1 Fall Semester 1
GEOG 110 The Geography of Viticulture
MATH 125 - Mathematics for Viticulture
CMNS 102 - Communications for Viticulture
VITT 125 - Introduction to Viticulture and Wine
BIOL 160 - Introductory Biology for Viticulture
Year 1 Winter Semester 2
GEOG 206 Introduction to Soil Science
CHEM 151 - Introductory Chemistry for Viticulture
VITT 135 - Grapevine Science
VITT 170 Vineyard Technologies and Operations
VITT 140 Vineyard and Canopy Establishment
Year 1 Summer Semester 3
VITT 150 Integrated Pest Management
VITT 160 Irrigation Technology and Water Management
Year 1 Summer/Fall Semester 4 (June-September)
VITT co-op work term
Year 2 Fall Semester 5
VITT 210 Soil and Water Management for Vineyards
VITT 220 Grape Harvest Sensory Principles
ONOL 210 - Wine Chemistry and Microbiology
Year 2 Winter Semester 6
BUAD 123 Management Principles
ONOL 230 - Winery Operations
VITT 250 Vineyard Management
VITT 270 Viticulture Capstone Project
One three-credit elective*
* Examples of electives (6 credits total):
BIOL 220 Introductory Biochemistry
TOUR 105 Introduction to Tourism
BUAD 230 Wine and Culinary Tourism
GEOG 111 Introduction to Physical Geography: Climate & Vegetation
GEOG 121 Introduction to Physical Geography: Water & Landscapes
GEOG 172 Map Use, Design, and Analysis
GEOG 201 Food and Society
GEOG 213 Geography of Wine
GEOG 265 Tourism and Recreation Geography
GEOG 272 Introduction to Cartography, GIS and Remote Sensing
GEOG 274 Introduction to GIS Analysis
SPAN 111 Spanish I
SPAN 121 Spanish II

Graduation Requirements

Successful completion of the prescribed and elective courses as listed in the program outline with a minimum graduating grade average of 60%. A minimum of 50% of the program must be completed through Okanagan College. VITT 220 and VITT 270 are required residency courses. Students are also required to successfully complete a co-op placement.


Program Area:

Food, Wine & Tourism

Campus (Intake):

  • Penticton (Sep)

Credential:

Diploma

Delivery:

  • Full-Time

Cost:

2018-19: $9,429.52 for the full program

  • Fees include all mandatory fees: Activity fee, Health & Dental, Student Association fee, Education Technology fee, Development fee.
  • All amounts are approximate and are subject to change.
  • International students will pay International tuition fees

Notes:

This program is student loan eligible.

Department Website

Okanagan College Calendar: Printed 11/20/2019