Art Chowder September | October 2021 Issue No. 35 Issue 35 | Page 26

The Northwest Wine Academy in South Seattle Community College opened its eponymous wineryschool in a redesigned machine shop in 2004 . Only nine years later , their success built a new space designed exclusively for wine , complete with labs and barrel rooms . Their successful alumni have enjoyed the success to grow the square footage , classes offered and faculty .
Between these two community college programs , the list of distinguished alumni producing great wine is long , names like : Patterson ( Avennia ), Ashton ( Lauren Ashton Cellars ), Loeliger ( Truth Teller Winery ), Dollar ( Lobo Hills ), Bourcier ( Cayuse / No Girls Wines ), Mayfield ( Sagemoor ) and McDaniels ( Doubleback / Sweet Valley ). These and more like them form a growing list of distinguished names among the who ’ s who of Washington wine .
Founded in the 1960s and spread over three campuses , viticulture and enology grew into a natural sidebar for Washington State University ’ s program within the Integrated Plant Sciences program . Currently , 300 students a year attend classes in the program including wine chemistry , sensory evaluation , soil quality , integrated pest management and international business .
The only other four-year winecentric degree in Washington takes a student to Central Washington University in Ellensburg for Global Wine Studies — or Wine Industry Management with a minor available in Wine Trade and Tourism . With every science covered , this program also offers the largest perspective of how Pacific Northwest wine fits into the global industry with graduates earning top jobs in industry organizations like the Washington Wine Commission . As such , the program ’ s focus on international wine simultaneously promotes Washington wine to the world while gathering a diversity of ideas and skills to bear on our wine-farming in the Pacific Northwest . Win-win . Or , is it wine-wine ?