Viticulture and Enology Major

Students entering the Viticulture and Enology major have a passion for grapes and wine accompanied by a strong background in the sciences. This major prepares students to be leaders in the wine industry or in any career that combines science, communication, and problem solving. The program includes coursework in chemistry, biology, plant science, communications and statistics as well as winemaking, vineyard development, economics, and management.  Students also gain hands-on experience in the program’s vineyard and teaching lab.

Internships are an integral part of the program, and with New York’s nearly 1,400 vineyards and wineries, there’s no end to interesting opportunities nearby.  Students may also choose to study or intern in other U.S. wine regions or abroad.  Many of our students have completed two or three internships by the time they graduate, gaining valuable skills and industry contacts.

Cornell’s V&E major addresses the New York region’s unique challenges—the cool climate, soils, grape varieties, pests, and markets—while also providing an excellent grounding in other regions’ growing and winemaking techniques. Students work with a broad variety of grapes and vinification techniques to produce wines in a region with large variability between growing seasons.  If you can make good wine here, you can produce it anywhere!


Employment Fields

  • Vineyard managers and winemakers, both in the US and internationally
  • Ag Business
  • Education
  • Farming
  • Social Services/Nonprofit
  • Research
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Careers in other fast growing fermented beverage sectors, such as brewing, hops production, and distillation

What recent graduates are doing

  • Vineyard Manager
  • Winemaking Intern
  • National Sales Manager in the wine industry
  • Viticulture Technician
  • New Product Enologist
  • Assistant Orchard Manager
  • Teach for America - Science Teacher
  • Venture for America - Fellow

Sample Classes

VIEN 3440 Viticulture and Vineyard Management

Course in commercial grape production with an emphasis on the problems of production in cold climates. Students examine the genetics of the vine and learn principles of vineyard establishment, propagation, pruning and training, and conservation. Laboratory exercises and field trips offer hands-on experience.

VIEN 1104 Introduction to Wines and Vines

This course offers students the opportunity to learn about the science of wine flavor and grape growing. Lecture topics include: flavor components in wine; wine evaluations and sensory science; terroir; and the health effects of wine.

VIEN 2204 Principles and Practices of Growing Grapes and Making Wines

Examines the environmental, physiological, and anatomical bases for vineyard management, plus all aspects of winemaking from harvest decisions, to fermentation, to bottling.

    More about Viticulture and Enology from the Department