We offer comprehensive winemaking classes with certification via the National Wine School. We train students in all core skills any winemaker requires. From crush to bottling, this is a hands-on program that offers a level of instruction no other program outside a Masters’s Program in Oenology offers. To attend, students must first complete their core wine certification.
Elements of the Winemaking Class & Certificate Program
It isn’t easy to describe something as inspiring, complex, and kinetic as our winemaking program. The program spans six months, starting with grapes and ending with bottles of the finished product you will bring home. After that, it is science, fermentation, hard work, and great wine.
Students may start as wine enthusiasts but will evolve into winemaking veterans in many inspiring ways. Taking this program will open your eyes to the great potential in wine production. The program includes classroom, laboratory, and practical components. Along with the standard class price, each student has a $100 lab & supply fee. In this program, you will be making wine. Our students have made Old Vine Lodi Zinfandel, Columbia Valley Carmenere, and Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
The winemaking class starts with a working crush. Learning how to process fruit, take laboratory measurements, and build the perfect fermentation. Along the way, you will be tutored by a seasoned Napa winemaker, who will keep an eye on your work and assist when needed. A lot happens in those first days, so in-depth classes will unpack the complexities of why specific procedures are followed and why many myths surrounding winemaking are incorrect.
Winemaking is the art of knowing how to turn raw fruit into a wine that will taste incredible five years from now, and that is a skill that can never be learned from a book.
After crush comes fermentation, and you will spend time in the wine cellar. In this section of the wine course, you will learn how to guide grape juice into fine wine. What are the effects of enzymes? Why does pH matter? How does Brix affect yeast selections? What in the world is DAP? Or YANS? Or MOG? How do different types of yeast affect the result? What are the potential problems, and how do we fix them? Finally, you’ll expand your winemaking prowess from punch-downs to running laboratory tests.
Now it’s time to press off the wine into the barrel! From running our bladder press to managing SO 2 and pH levels, you are becoming a seasoned professional. The last stage before the holiday break is to initiate malolactic fermentation (MLF). After that, it is quiet at the winery, and the only thing needed is to stir the lees and take the occasional chromatography reading. When classes reconvene, the last stage of winemaking will be close at hand. Once MLF is complete, it will be time to work on our final blends and prepare for the bottling day!
Certificate & Winemaking Class
This winemaking class offers certification through the National Wine School (NWS). This is an in-person program with six months of classes in Philadelphia. NWS also offers an online winemaking course as part of their Master in Wine program.
Our program is developed and taught by a UC Davis winemaker. However, if we are not affiliated with the University of California. For their programs, please search for “winemaking certificate program UC Davis.”
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to become a winemaker?
Earning a winemaking certificate at the Wine School of Philadelphia takes eight months. This includes the Core and Winemaking Programs.
What is a degree in winemaking called?
A winemaking degree earned at an accredited university is a Degree in Viticulture and Enology. Viticulture is the agricultural science of growing grapes; Enology refers to fermentation, organic chemistry, and statistics. At the Wine School, we offer a winemaking certificate, not a degree.