Viticulture & Enology Programs

Nikki Bagley, Director, Viticulture

  • » BA in Agroecology, Prescott College
  • » AAS in Agriculture, Yavapai College
  • » 4 years, Merkin Vineyards, Vineyard & Orchard Manager, Verde Valley
  • » YC Viticulture Instructor since 2009

Michael Pierce, Director of Enology

Please join me in welcoming Michael Pierce, our new Director of Enology. Michael is an Arizona native who has been working in the Verde Valley wine industry for the last four years.

He grew up in the Phoenix area and graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2004. Shortly after graduating from college, Michael began taking classes for viticulture and enology from Washington State and found his passion for wine making. He and his father now have a 27 acre vineyard in Willcox, AZ.

Michael is thrilled to be at Yavapai College; and is looking forward to playing a major role in the growth of the Viticulture and Enology Program and the Southwest Wine Center! Michael is located in M Building, 2nd floor (M-226), and his extension is 6586.

Viticulture & Enology Programs: AAS Degree or Certificate

Viticulture Certificate

As a student in Yavapai College’s Viticulture Program, you have the opportunity to study in the ONLY Viticulture Program offered in the state of Arizona. Your studies will focus on growing grapes for wine making, vineyard seasonal practices, and vineyard management.

This certificate is designed to prepare individuals for various careers in the grape growing industry. Classroom instruction, laboratory and field applications of viticultural principles and practices are included in the program of study.

Certificate Features

  • Hands-on learning is emphasized in the majority of courses.
  • Learn about the seasonal operations that occur at different times in the vineyard.
  • Learn about how grape growing practices influence wine quality.
  • Requirement to partner with local vineyards.

Viticulture & Enology Associates of Applied Science Degree

The Viticulture and Enology 2-year degree program prepares students for a variety of careers in vineyards (vineyard workers, crew leaders, managers, viticulturists) to wineries (winemakers, cellar workers, lab technicians).

An Estate Vineyard
A 20-acre vineyard, planted in the foothills of Mingus Mountain on Yavapai College’s Verde Valley campus, provides students with hands-on real world, and observational studies in vineyard establishment and management including, plant science, water management, vine selection, land preparation, and planting and harvesting the grapes.
Full-Production Teaching Winery
Students will learn the concepts of producing wine at the state-of-the-art teaching winery. The winery will have production areas and barrel and case storage to support production of 3,000 cases of wine per year. Students will gain experience in the marketing and business aspects of the wine industry by working in the Southwest Wine Center tasting room located within the campus winery.

NOTE: Students must be 21 years of age or older to pursue the AAS Degree with Enology.

Course Outline: Viticulture and Enology Program – Associate of Applied Science

Program Description, Outcomes, and Requirements: Viticulture and Enology – Associate of Applied Science