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Napa Valley College initiates construction on a $16.5 million center for wine and hospitality education

Napa Valley College celebrated the groundbreaking of its $16.5 million Wine Education Complex on Friday. This marks the first phase of the Wine Education Complex, which will double the classroom and training space to over 10,000 square feet.

The Viticulture and Winery Technology (VWT) program provides viticulture, winemaking and wine marketing and sales programs, granting certificates and associate of science degrees. The program contains more than 30 accredited classes with units that transfer to national and international four-year degree programs. (Dr. Torrence Powell, superintendent and president of Napa Valley College, addressed the crowd during the groundbreaking /Submitted photo).

Napa Valley College celebrated the groundbreaking of its $16.5 million Wine Education Complex on Friday. This marks the first phase of the Wine Education Complex, which will double the classroom and training space to over 10,000 square feet.

 Phase 1: The Wine Spectator Wine Education Center

The Wine Spectator Wine Education Center is funded through a $10 million Wine Spectator lead gift from the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation with additional funding from the estate of college supporter Evelyn Allen.

Complementing the college’s Napa Valley Vintners Teaching Winery and vineyard, the center will include two sensory classrooms with seating for up to 80 students at a time, and an upgrade to the existing Trefethen laboratory classroom with 28 lab stations.

Offering degrees in Viticulture, Winemaking, and Wine Marketing and Sales, the Wine Spectator Wine Education Center will also offer multiple industry certificates, including Winery Management and Operations, Vineyard Management, Vineyard Pest Scout, Viticulture Operations, Wine Laboratory Technician, and more.

Phase II: Wine and Hospitality Training Center

The groundbreaking also officially launched a capital campaign to raise $4 million for Phase II of the Wine Education Center Complex, the Wine and Hospitality Training Center.

The center aims to provide training in all aspects of wine marketing, sales, and hospitality, including winery food programs, direct-to-consumer sales, wine club membership, tasting room management, tourism, and wine culinary training.

It will also include a demonstration kitchen to provide hands-on training for students, a tasting bar, and movable sit-down seating to emulate a variety of hospitality and tasting room scenarios, and an event space to host industry trainings, educational events, guest lecturers, and wine industry professionals.

“The Napa Valley College Wine and Hospitality Training Center will provide the proper facility for our students to acquire vital skills needed for today’s job competitive market,” said Michael Baldacci, Napa Valley College Foundation board member and capital campaign chair in a press release.

The new facilities will also support the College’s new Food and Wine Pathway Program, providing complementary degree programs in Viticulture Winery Technology (VWT) and Hospitality Culinary Tourism Management (HCTM).

“Our new winery chef certificate will meet a growing trend in the industry by combining wine and hospitality skills into one complementary degree the industry is asking for aimed at the direct-to-consumer market,” said Dr. Torence Powell, superintendent and president of Napa Valley College. “The complex will help meet needs locally and beyond.”

According to the release, in Napa County, the hospitality industry will see the highest growth in upcoming years, with a combined total of 2,272 new jobs in four years.

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