Southwest Wine Center
Unique to the Southwest region, the Southwest Wine Center is a hub for learning as well as an incubator for rural economic development. The enology and viticulture program at Yavapai College's Southwest Wine Center offers a comprehensive professional training in the growing of grapes, care of vines and production of wines.
The two-year program nurtures future vintners, grape growers, marketing entrepreneurs, tasting room managers and others involved in the rapidly expanding wine industry in Arizona and has attracted students of all ages and work backgrounds.
Now in its 10th year, the $2.5 million teaching winery, nestled in the vineyards overlooking the spectacular Verde Valley, features a state-of-the-art crushing, barreling and bottling facility and an elegant tasting room. The school has 13 acres of vines planted by volunteers over two vineyards with both well-known and experimental grape varieties.
The center is housed in a repurposed racquetball court ecologically designed to optimize the use of natural light and ventilation, as well as rainwater harvesting. Shaded work terraces and high ceilings help cool the interior spaces, and the C02 purge ventilation system optimizes the temperature control with mechanical means, saving on electric power usage. Planned solar panel installations will provide shade for parked cars and a net-zero-energy-use facility.
The Viticulture Certificate and the Enology Associates degree are integrated with hands-on training in the field and cellar that demonstrate sound practices in viticulture and cellar management. Some individual classes are also offered for those unable to enroll full-time.
The tasting room is open to the public from Thursday to Sunday. To discover additional Verde Valley wineries and tasting rooms when you're in the area, visit verdevalleywine.org.
Communities Near You
What’s happening near you