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).
Laboratory or Viticulture Technician
Winery or Cellar Technician
Vineyard and Winery Equipment Sales Representative
Vineyard R&D Technician
Wine Sales and Promotion
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:
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:
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.
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.
Food, Wine & Tourism
2018-19: $9,429.52 for the full program
This program is student loan eligible.
Okanagan College Calendar: Printed 10/21/2019