SAN ANTONIO – The growth of Texas wine and craft beer industries have created a demand for skilled workers. It’s why Palo Alto College started offering a wine making degree last year.
On Wednesday the college broke ground on its vineyard and hops yard, which is next to its community garden as part of its horticulture program. The college’s viticulture and enology 60 credit hour program gives students the opportunity to join the wine and craft beer industry in Texas.
“What I’ve heard from our brewery partners is that they can’t find skilled workers,” Dr. Robert Garza, president of Palo Alto College said. “So they have to teach, it’s not just about making beer, there is also a business process to it as well.”
The program started last year focusing on the business side of wine and beer making, along with the scientific process that goes into it. Once the vineyard and hops yard is complete, it will offer a hands on aspect of the business.
”I think it’s really good to have an opportunity to learn from experts who have been doing this for a while to make sure you have that foundation,” Garza said.
The program has had about 30 students in the past year and the college hopes to grow that number in the future. As for the vineyard and hops yard— the college says they hope to have it completed in about six months.