Viticulture Certificate Click here to request more info

Program Contacts

Dean James Perey (928) 634-6513
Enology Director Michael Pierce (928) 634-6586
Viticulture Director Nikki Check (928) 634-6576
Instructional Specialist Teresa Schwickerath (928) 634-6575
Dean John Morgan (928) 717-7721

Quick Facts

About the Viticulture Certificate

The Viticulture certificate is designed to prepare individuals for various careers in the grape growing industry. Classroom instruction, laboratory and field applications of viticultural principles and practices are included in the program of study.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Viticulture Certificate program, the learner will be able to:

  1. Evaluate, design and develop a site for vinefera production. (VEN 100, VEN 101)
  2. Schedule and perform necessary seasonal vineyard operations for production of wine grapes. (VEN 102, VEN 195)
  3. Analyze and maintain crop health. (AGS 105, AGS 107, AGS 274, VEN 100, VEN 102, VEN 195)
  4. Grow wine grapes. (VEN 100, VEN 101, VEN 102, VEN 195)

Program-Specific Requirements

Course Course Title Hours
AGS105 Soils

AGS 105. Soils (3) (Fall). Comprehensive overview of the types of soils commonly found in North America with special emphasis on Southwestern soils. Course investigates the origin, formation, physical and chemical properties of soils and emphasizes soil testing, fertilization, and modifications to soils commonly found in landscapes, gardens and turf. Three lecture.

1. Components of soil
2. Soil and water relationships
3. Soil textural triangle
4. Modifications to soil for improvement
5. Drainage systems
6. Soil fertility
7. Soil pH
8. Soil testing
9. Cost factors
10. Southwestern soils

1. Describe the components of soil including sand, silt, and clay. (1)
2. Explain the relationship between soil and water. (2)
3. Using the soil textural triangle, determine the structure of soil and its effect on turfgrass. (3)
4. Identify components of a soil profile. (3)
5. Identify macro- and micro-nutrients needed for plant growth. (4)
6. Identify common soil amendments used to improve soil. (4)
7. Describe drainage systems used to remove excess water from soil. (5)
8. Describe the principles associated with soil fertility. (6)
9. Explain pH of soil and the methods used to modify pH. (7)
10. Using soil test kits, test soils for basic composition. (8)
11. Identify agencies to assist in soils testing. (8)
12. Calculate soil test results for nitrogen, phosphorus, iron and potassium. (8)
13. Describe soils common to the Southwest. (10)

AGS107 Entomology

AGS 107. Entomology (3) (Spring). Fundamental approaches in the control of greenhouse pests. Categories of pests, management practices, herbicide use, alternative pest control techniques, safety, and integrated pest management. Three lecture.

1. Insects and related pests
2. Pest Identification and Classification
3. Economic Damage
4. Control Methodologies
5. Integrated Pest Management
6. Safety Practices

1. Investigate the relationships between insects and people. (1)
2. Identify insects of economic importance. (3)
3. Describe the basic external morphology of insects and how it is used in classification. (1,2)
4. Describe the basic internal anatomy of insects. (1)
5. Describe the objectives and elements of insect classification. (2)
6. Classify insects by visual inspection. (1,2)
7. Identify unknown insects by use of standard taxonomic keys. (2)
8. Identify insects to Order by inspection, and identify common forms to Family. (1,2)
9. Describe the life cycles of important insect groups. (1)
10. Identify agents of biological control. (4,5)
11. Identify insecticide names and formulations. (1,2,5)
12. Explain the concepts involved in insect pest management. (5,6)
13. Discuss alternative pest control techniques. (4,5,6)
14. Formulate an integrated pest management plan to control insects. (5)

AGS274 Water Management

AGS 274. Water Management (3) (Spring). Irrigation techniques for golf courses, greenhouses, aquaculture, and horse production including sizing pipes and fittings, backflow prevention, filtration, pumps, sprinklers, spraybooms, misters, and valves. Includes code requirements, blueprint reading, and bidding. Two lecture. Three lab.

1. Pipe types and sizes
2. Fittings
3. Valves
4. Pumps
5. Drain tiles
6. Filters
7. Backflow prevention
8. Blueprint reading
9. Irrigation design
10. Code requirements
11. Recirculation

1. Identify types and sizes of pipe used in irrigation systems.
2. Select the most appropriate pipe for a given circuit.
3. Demonstrate the use of tools commonly used in plumbing.
4. Identify the valve boxes used for manifold systems.
5. Identify the most commonly used fittings for connecting pipe.
6. Select the appropriate fitting for a given connection.
7. Explain the different uses for gate, globe and ball valves.
8. List the advantages and disadvantages of the three most common valves.
9. Determine correct positioning for drain tiles.
10. Select the most appropriate backflow prevention device for a given circuit.
11. Distinguish between in-line manual and automatic valves.
12. Distinguish between manual and automatic pressure vacuum breakers.
13. Determine appropriate sprinkler spacing.
14. Explain the difference between static and working pressure.
15. Determine local codes for commercial irrigation.
16. Solve for pressure drop over a given run.
17. Design greenhouse irrigation and fertilization system.
18. Design aquaculture systems.
19. Design horse watering systems.
20. Design golf course systems.
21. Troubleshoot sprayboom nozzles.
22. Determine circuits, valves, draintiles, and sprinklers for a given par three hole.
23. Calculate costs for irrigation of a par three hole.

1. Irrigation design for par three hole or greenhouse.

VEN100 Introduction to Viticulture

VEN 100. Introduction to Viticulture (3). World history of grapes and their production. Emphasis on the varieties of grapes, grapevine biology and physiology, vineyard management, and harvest and post-harvest operations. Three lecture.

1. History of grapes
2. Arizona, United States and global grape production
3. Species and varieties of grapes
4. Grapevine biology, physiology, growth and development
5. Grape plant structures and functions
6. Vineyard management and cultural practices
7. Soil and climate
8. Wine making

1. Explain the history of grape cultivation and distribution. (1)
2.Compare grape species and cultivars used in the United States and throughout the world. (2,3)
3. Describe the evolution and taxonomy of cultivated species and the development of cultivars, varieties and rootstocks. (1-3)
4. Discuss grape production in Arizona: history, geography, raisin, table and wine grape regions, and cultivators. (2,3)
5. Explain grape physiology including photosynthesis, transpiration and environmental control of growth and development. (4,5)
6. Describe grape dormancy and bud break, phonology, vegetative and reproductive growth, berry growth and composition. (4,5)
7. Identify pruning systems and techniques. (4,6)
8. Discuss grapevine propagation methods, techniques and applications. (4-6)
9. Identify pests and discuss their control and management. (6)
10. Explain vineyard site selection and orientation, and describe soil preparation, planting, training, and trellis systems. (6,7)
11. Identify grapevine water and soil and nutrient requirements. (6,7)
12. Explain harvest and post-harvest operations including maturity factors, raisin types and processing, and table and wine grape harvesting, processing, and storage. (8)
13. Describe the process of wine making. (8)

VEN101 Establishing Vinifera Vineyard

VEN 101. Establishing a Vinifera Vineyard (3). Introduction to the processes of establishing a vineyard. Emphasis on site selection, vine varieties, soil preparation, planting methods, vineyard layout, and equipment requirements. Prerequisite: VEN 100 (May be taken concurrently). Two lecture. Two lab.

1. Grape world
2. Grape botany: genus, species, history, taxonomy
3. Costs
4. Grape varietal review
5. Site selection
6. Irrigation
7. Climate
8. Soils
9. Site preparation and planting
10. Phylloxera, Rootstocks and clones
11. Training and Trellising
12. Propagation
13. Cover crops
14. Grafting
15. Yield estimates

1. Discuss historical perspective of genus Vitis. (1,2)
2. Plan and equip a new vineyard. (3,4,15)
3. Assess critical site selection elements: heat units, slopes, micro-climates and crop history. (5-9)
4. Apply irrigation methods and timing for grapes. (6,7,15)
5. Propagate grape vines. (10-12,14)
6. Apply post-planting, pest control and cover crops. (10,13)

VEN102 Maintain Vinifera Vineyard

VEN 102. Maintaining a Vinifera Vineyard (3). Maintaining a vineyard from the point of dormancy through the harvest. Emphasis on crop monitoring techniques, pruning methods, bloom, vine manipulation, and determining vine health. Includes the relationship that exists between the grower and the vintner. Prerequisite: VEN 100 (May be taken concurrently). Two lecture. Two lab.

1. Grape Cultivars
2. Vine Nutrition
3. Water Management
4. Canopy Management and Crop Thinning
5. Vineyard Floor Management
6. Pests and Diseases
7. Harvest
8. Balanced Pruning
9. Cold Injury

1. Identify wine grape cultivars. (1)
2. List the nutrients required by grapes for proper growth. (2)
3. Explain how nutrient status is assessed in the vineyard. (2)
4. Calculate how many pounds of fertilizer are needed to supply a particular amount of nutrient to one acre of grapes. (2)
5. Identify the components of a drip irrigation system. (3)
6. Describe the steps in irrigation scheduling and relate the seasonal growth phase of the vine to water requirement. (3)
7. Describe a canopy both in and out of balance. (4)
8. Explain how initial vineyard establishment decisions as well as current cultural management impact canopy balance. (4)
9. Identify the problems associated with over-cropping and under-cropping. (4)
10. Describe the process to identify an unknown pest or cultural problem. (6)
11. Use of a weed identification guide or dichotomous key to identify weeds. (6)
12. Explain the importance of vineyard floor management. (5)
13. List the common diseases and vertebrate and invertebrate pests in the region. (6)
14. Complete a sprayer calibration. (6)
15. List the factors that are considered in order to determine when to harvest grapes.(7)
16. List and explain the advantages and disadvantages of mechanical harvest operation. (7)
17. Describe the effects of fruit quality on wine quality. (7)
18. Explain the process of balanced pruning. (8)
19. Calculate the number of buds to leave based on a pruning weight and pruning formula. (8)
20. Describe the anatomy of the compound bud. (8)
21. Explain the implications of bud anatomy on cold injury management and how cold injury hazard and occurrence impacts pruning decisions. (9)

VEN195V Viticulture Practicum  1

VEN 195V. Viticulture Practicum (2). Practical experience in vineyard operations partnering with an approved vineyard, students must complete a fall, spring and summer practicum. Four lab. [Repeatable for a total of 6 credit hours towards degree/certificate requirements.]

1. Quality Assurance
2. Canopy Management
3. Trellis Systems
4. Harvest Operations
5. Diseases and Pests
6. Lab Analysis
7. Crop Estimates
8. Fertility Plan
9. Petiole Analysis
10. The U or Lyre System

1. Assess and maintain crop health. (1-3,8,9)
2. List and describe the characteristics of canopy ideotype. (2,10)
3. Describe and collect fruit samples for harvest parameters. (4)
4. Collect and perform lab analysis. (6)
5. Predict and plot harvest date and crop estimate. (7)
6. Plan and manage proper post-harvest monitoring. (7,8)
7. Manage proper pre-harvest operations. (7,8)
8. Identify major insect and weed pests in a given location. (5)
9. Identify and describe major fungal diseases in a given location. (5)
10. Evaluate existing management strategies for identified pests and diseases. (5)
11. Apply spray schedule to accomplish the goals of a stated pest management program. (5)
12. Discuss the water management strategy at your vineyard site. (1,8)
13. Identify and preform proper suckering and shoot thinning techniques. (1-3,9)
14. Apply proper cluster thinning, shoot positioning and leaf removal techniques. (1-3,9,10)

1 - Students must complete a VEN 195V Viticulture Practicum in Fall, Spring and Summer for a total of 6 credits.

Note:  It is always best to discuss educational and career goals with an academic advisor prior to enrolling in any courses.  Learn more about Academic Advising.