In the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences .
Viticulture & Enology are the scientific studies of grape growing and winemaking, respectively. Cornell’s Viticulture and Enology major (V&E) is creating the next generation of leaders in the wine industry and allied fields like brewing and distillation, and is the only four-year viticulture and enology degree in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. VIEN majors are exposed to all aspects of the food system – from growing the raw material (grape), to transforming it into a high value product (wine), to its eventual sale to a customer. Individuals with strong backgrounds in these areas have no shortage of opportunities across the United States and the globe following graduation.
In their first two years, students are given a strong foundation in the physical and biological sciences in addition to introductory courses on wine and grapes. In their last two years, students can use this knowledge base to choose among specialized elective courses in enology and viticulture. The flexibility of the Viticulture & Enology major readily allows students to take courses or minor in complementary fields, e.g. business, plant sciences, or food sciences.
The V&E program maintains extensive vineyard and winery facilities, ensuring a year-round hands-on experience for our students. The program’s vineyards include more than 30 wine and table grape cultivars, including native American grapes, French-American hybrid grapes, and many of the major European vinifera grapes. During the fall harvest, students transform these grapes into wine at the Stocking Hall teaching winery, located on the Ithaca campus. In the Spring, students taste their wines to determine if they need further adjustment or are ready for bottling – or they can learn the fundamentals of making other alcoholic beverages (beer, distilled spirits, cider) through upper-level elective courses. Most classes have fewer than 25 students, providing ample opportunities for student/faculty interactions. Undergraduates are often involved in faculty research and outreach programs, and guest speakers and field trips are an integral part of the curriculum.
Most V&E majors take advantage of study abroad or internship programs in their 3rd or 4th years. In the last decade, our students have been to over 20 states and countries, including California, Washington State, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, and France. The major is also closely linked with the New York State wine and grape industries, as well as an extensive professional and alumni network.
Special highlights of this major include:
- A uniquely cool, world-class education: We are the only 4-year wine and grape program in the United States east of the Rockies or in a cool climate, and the only one at an Ivy League university
- Facilities: Classrooms include our state-of-the-art teaching winery, brewery and distillery and a teaching vineyard right on campus.
- Know your professors: The small size of the major puts students and professors on a first name basis, and classes emphasize hands-on learning.
- Broad opportunities in specialty products: Prepare for a career in winemaking, grape growing, brewing, cidermaking, and distillation, or use your degree as a springboard for opportunities in business, education or research.
- Internships and study abroad: Enology classes in Australia? Vineyard work in California? Marketing internship in Burgundy? Choose from dozens of options, both international and close to home.
For more information, visit: grapesandwine.cals.cornell.edu/undergraduate
K. Arnink, D. Bershaw, T. Martinson, G. Sacks, J. Vanden Heuvel, W. Wilcox