Courses of Study 2021-2022 
    Nov 30, 2023  
Courses of Study 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Viticulture and Enology

In the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences .


Course Offerings  


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. 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.

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 the Undergraduate Viticulture and Enology webpage.

NOTE: In addition to the major requirements indicated below, students are expected to complete the college graduation requirements .


Program Graduation Requirements:

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. All major requirements must be taken for a letter grade, except when not an option. All required VIEN Core and major elective courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better. For more information, visit the Viticulture and Enology major webpage.

Foundation Courses:

This component of the major provides a strong foundation in the basic life sciences. Many of these courses (listed below) will also contribute to completion of CALS distribution requirements.

  • General inorganic and organic chemistry with laboratory
  • Two semesters of biology with laboratory
  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Introductory botany
  • Plant function and growth
  • Statistics

Core Viticulture and Enology Courses:

All students are required to complete at least one internship in the wine or grape industry and are encouraged to participate in undergraduate research programs on campus. In New York State alone, more than 270 wineries and 1,100 vineyards are enthusiastic about working with students and hosting interns.

Several Viticulture and Enology major courses include:


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.


K. Arnink, Dir. of Undergraduate Studies, 152C Stocking Hall,; D. Bershaw, P. Gibney, R. Moss, G. Sacks, J. Vanden Heuvel.

The Minor

Through a minor in Viticulture and Enology, students will learn the essential natural history and biology of wine grapes, systems, and technologies of grape and wine production, as well as the basic chemistry of grape and wine analysis. Those interested in pursuing a minor in Viticulture and Enology need to complete at least 14 credits, all letter-graded, and earning at least a grade of “C” or better.


  • One college-level course in introductory biology
  • One college-level course in general chemistry

For more information about the minor, visit the Viticulture and Enology Minor webpage.