Dr. Benoit Lecat, Department Head
The College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences at Cal Poly offers a distinctive interdisciplinary major in Wine and Viticulture designed to prepare students for careers in the complex 21st century wine business environment.
Our department uniquely integrates three fundamental components of the modern wine industry, with a curriculum emphasizing the inherent connectivity between wine grape growing in the vineyard, wine making in the winery, and wine selling in the marketplace. Cal Poly's location in the heart of the Central Coast wine region provides an abundance of outstanding internship opportunities in the wine industry, and it gives our students access to some of the best cool-weather premium wine-grape vineyards in California and some of the most respected winemaking leaders in the world today.
Wine and Viticulture students learn the foundations of viticulture, winemaking and wine business using our 14-acre state-of-the-art teaching vineyard and pilot winery, and our stewardship over the Cal Poly Wines brand. Essential skills are developed through collaboration with campus and industry experts. The department incorporates the Learn by Doing philosophy, requiring completion of both an internship in the grape and/or wine industry, and a senior “capstone” project. Through our international programs, many Wine and Viticulture students have an opportunity to experience wine-grape harvest around the world and explore the diversity of wine growing and wine making systems and approaches. All of our students are also encouraged to participate in undergraduate research, numerous Enterprise Projects on campus, and the Vines to Wines student club.
The Wine and Viticulture department includes nearly 300 undergraduate majors, making Cal Poly among the largest Wine and Viticulture programs in the country. With a BS in Wine and Viticulture from Cal Poly, you will graduate with a skill-set geared to enter the multi-dimensional wine industry. We are currently developing the JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture that will include new state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities. We welcome the opportunity to discuss the Wine and Viticulture department and its future with you, and hope you have the chance to enjoy our student-made Cal Poly Wines!
The Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Department