I am currently a rising junior studying both horticulture and agribusiness with an interest to one day manage or own a vineyard. To gain more experience in the viticulture industry this Summer, I traveled to Cortona, Italy for the Viticulture and Enology Maymester program. Getting to participate in the viticulture and enology program gave me first-hand education directly regarding vineyards and wine production. Through this program, I was able to learn how the health of grapevines is established and maintained; how grapes are cultivated and protected from disease with pest management. Being taught the nuances of grape varieties, and how they will need different kinds of care or will produce different kinds of wine, helped me develop my preferences for future consideration. Participating in winemaking and learning how to analyze the quality of wine by using my sense of smell and taste has primed me for the industry. With the skills and knowledge I gained from this program, I have begun to curate my ideal wine-making business, deciding how to manage my vineyard and what kind of wine I would like to produce. 

Immediately after returning to Georgia from Italy this summer, I began my Winegrowers of Georgia Internship at Engelhiem Vineyards. I have been able to put all I that I learned from the Viticulture and Enology program into practice with hands-on experience. I have been able to work out in the vineyards with the different grapevine varieties I learned about in Italy, and therefore have been able to cater to their different care needs. I also got to participate in the winemaking, bottling, and packaging of the wine Engelhiem Vineyards produces. The more I have worked as an intern at the Vineyard, the more I realize just how useful my study-abroad trip was. As someone who hopes to one day work in the wine industry, the Viticulture and Enology study abroad program has given me invaluable knowledge that I will be able to reference throughout my ongoing career.

A picture of yours truly, standing beside a grape vin at the Avignonesi Winery in Italy 🙂