The Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA)

The Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA), a National Center of Excellence funded by the National Science Foundation, offers convenient online education programs in viticulture and enology. VESTA is a partnerships of educational institutions across the country bringing together the best information and resources of the grape and wine industry. The MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology is a partner institution with VESTA creating outstanding opportunities for Michigan residents to access the national network for education, hands-on learning, and job placement in grape production and wine making. To learn more about VESTA programs and resources in Michigan contact Tom Smith at 517-353-4822 or For more information about VESTA national programs and resources visit VESTA or call 417-836-8967.


eViticulture is the national resource containing the latest science-based information for commercial viticulturists. eViticulture was created by the Grape Community of Practice, a nationwide group of professionals with expertise in grape production. The website is a means to quickly visit other states to benefit from their land grant university resources.

Courses offered by Michigan State University

  • HRT 206 Training and Pruning Plants (1 credit, spring of each year). This 5-week module course teaches students the biological basis for pruning woody perennials. Students are requested to have enrolled in HRT 203 prior to taking this course. Basic knowledge will be taught regarding maintenance of shrubs, landscape trees, tree and small fruit species. Students will meet for two lectures and one 2 hour lab each week. 
  • HB 409 Introduction to Wine (3 credits, fall, spring and summer every year). Introduction to wine with emphasis on primary varietals and blends, legal nomenclature, classes of wine, and wine production. Potential health implications of wine consumption and socio-cultural and historical facts. Wine and food matching and tools and approaches for wine and food matching. Sensory assessment is discussed. No alcohol is consumed in this course.
  • HRT 430 Exploring Wines and Vines (3 credits, Fall of each year). This course is a study of wine, its history, production methods, impacts by climate and culture from a global perspective, application to global grape and wine production techniques, and the economic impact of the wine industry as part of modern agriculture. Descriptive sensory evaluations of wine styles will be conducted in relationship with various food items. The course is designed to provide knowledge and appreciation of wine grape production (Viticulture), wine making (Enology), history, uses, and responsibility. Instruction is offered to help students recognize different aspects of wine quality, classes, styles, and origins of wines. Students will learn how viticulture and varieties play a major role in the final wine product consumed by the buyer. There is no prerequisite to enroll but students must be 21 years of age before the first lecture. 

Northwest Michigan Orchard and Vineyard Show

This show occurs every January in the Traverse City area.

2015 select presentations

MSU Extension events

MSU Extension host many workshops and other educational events listed on the homepage of this website.

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