Wine and Viticulture

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"Sip and Spit" Tasting Legislation

The tasting legislation, Assembly Bill 1989, also known as the "Sip and Spit" law was passed in the State of California and was effective on January 1, 2015. This law allows students between the ages of 18 and 20 to participate in sensory analysis courses by tasting and spitting wine.

Significant Impact on Education

This is crucial for many students in our department and will have a significantly positive impact on their education as they will get to taste and explore different wines. Here are some key points about the law.

  • Qualified students may taste, but not consume, alcohol.

  • Taste means to draw an alcoholic beverage into the mouth but does not include swallowing or otherwise consuming the beverage.

  • A qualified student is one who is at least 18 years of age and is enrolled in an enology or brewing program at a university with an established Associates or Bachelor's degree program for enology or brewing.

  • The class will be designed to train industry professionals in the production of wine or beer.

  • The course must be required for an Associate's degree or Bachelor's degree.

  • An authorized instructor who is at least 21 years old must control the alcoholic beverage.

  • The law does not allow students under the age of 21 to taste wine or beer outside of an educational setting.

  • This law does not carry the privilege of tasting alcohol in wine tasting rooms, breweries, restaurants, homes, or any other location besides where the sensory course takes place.

This is an exciting opportunity for our students to learn and explore different wines and development techniques.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the Wine and Viticulture Department at or at (805) 756-7308.

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