Grape and Wine Science Certificate Program Overview
This program will provide foundational knowledge in three major areas of grape and wine science – grape growing, wine making, and business operations – following the path of grapes from the field to the winery to the glass. Students will gain competency in all three areas to prepare them for positions in the industry. The program will feature 4 weeks of classroom instruction, complemented by hands-on workshops. Then students will complete a 4-week winery internship where they can put their new knowledge and skills into practice.
4-Week Classroom Session
- Dates: August 1-26, 2022
- Time: Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
- Location: New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition & Health (IFNH), Room 205, 61 Dudley Rd, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 (Directions & Map)
4-Week Winery Internship
After the classroom session concludes, you will complete a 4-week paid internship at a local winery. You may complete your internship by working at the winery where you are currently employed, or we can assist you in locating an internship position. Part-time internships (for the equivalent hours) can be arranged for those who cannot fulfill a full-time internship.
- Application Fee: $50 (non-refundable)
- Registration Fee: $4,495 per person
- Early Bird Discount: $3,950 per person (save $545 – expires July 1, 2022!)
- Learn about Financial Aid options.
Who Should Apply?
You must be 21 years old or older to participate in this program. Applicants should have college-level training in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) field. Strong candidates will have completed at least one college course in basic biology and one in basic chemistry. Those who lack formal scientific training but have current or recent work experience in the vineyard/winery industry are strongly encouraged to apply.
The application deadline is July 1, 2022. Applications will be accepted after that date on a space available basis only. Apply now!
Degree Credit for Rutgers Students
Upon successful completion, the classroom session and internship experience have been approved for two (2) Rutgers course credits and three (3) Experience-Based Education (EBE) credits, respectively, for matriculated Rutgers students only. Students outside of SEBS, enrolled in other programs at Rutgers-New Brunswick, need to obtain approval from their academic advisor, program director, or department chair prior to registering for credits. For more information, please contact Program Coordinator Suzanne Hills at firstname.lastname@example.org or 848-932-7234.
Grape and Wine Science Certificate Program Topics
Follow the path of grapes from the field to the winery to the glass! By completing this program, you will gain marketable skills in a wide range of topics related to viticulture, enology, microbiology, sensory science, sales, business development, and more. Details about the specific topics covered in the program can be found below.
Grape Growing and Vineyard Management
- Life cycle of vines and vineyards
- Soil and water management and vine nutrition
- Vineyard pest management (diseases, insects, weeds, vertebrates)
- Vine maintenance – trellising, pruning, overwintering
- Grape species and varieties
- Grape harvesting and chemistry (e.g., pH, TA, Brix)
Wine Production and Operations
- Processing grapes into wine – crushing, fermentation, and pressing
- Microbiological and chemical analysis of wine
- Fining, filtration, and bottling
- Winery sanitation, recordkeeping, and labeling
- Sensory perception of wine; designing tasting trials
- Major grape varieties and wine styles
- Hospitality and tasting room operations
- Digital marketing and social media
- Wine sales strategies (wine club, curbside, and other outlets)
- Business plan development
- Tourism and entrepreneurship
Grape and Wine Science Certificate Program Instructors
Beverly J. Tepper, Ph.D., Rutgers University, Department of Food Science
Dr. Tepper is the director of the Rutgers Sensory Evaluation Laboratory and has 33 years of experience as a researcher and educator. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in sensory science and nutrition and conducts studies investigating individual differences in sensory perception and their role in consumer food choice. She has received research grants to improve the nutritional value and eating quality of agricultural products from North-East Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NE-SARE) and USDA Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR). She is a fellow (elected) of the Institute of Food Technologists, and Scientific Editor for the Sensory and Consumer Science Section of the Journal of Food Science. She is a member of the NJ Center for Wine Research and Education and recently obtained Level 2 Certification in Wines from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). She is also co-owner of a preserved farm in Allentown NJ that she and her partner are converting to grape production. Currently growing grapes for personal use, the future plan is to establish a commercial wine production facility and a tasting room. She is an associate (vineyard) member of the GSWGA and is an active participant in its activities. As a wine grower and future commercial winery operator, she is uniquely positioned as a bridge between the Rutgers community and NJ winery industry.
Daniel L. Ward, Ph.D, Rutgers University, NJAES RCE
Meet the Team
Donna Albano, Ed.D., Stockton University
Donna is a Professor in the Hospitality, Tourism & Event Management Studies (HTMS) Program in Stockton University’s School of Business. She is responsible for teaching, research, and service at Stockton University, as well as curriculum development, program review, and assessment. Donna teaches courses in hospitality and tourism management including Introduction to the Hospitality & Tourism Management, Hospitality Marketing, Leadership, Career Development, Internship, Wine Fundamentals, Faculty Led Study Aboard Tour, and related areas including the supervision of independent studies, both traditionally and distance education. She is also responsible for teaching in interdisciplinary programs, offers courses in the General Studies curriculum, and is a faculty advisor to over 30 students. Donna’s research and professional development activities produce work that advances the knowledge of her students and academia and informs practice in the hospitality & tourism industry.
During her tenure at Stockton, Donna has had many roles and responsibilities outside of the HTMS program including membership on the Foundation Board, the Stockton’s Women Leadership Council, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, Global Engagement Advisory Board, and Scholarship Committee.
Prior to academia, Donna worked in the hospitality industry in hotel & casino operations, food and beverage franchise operations, and country club operations, as well as hospitality industry consulting including quality assurance shopping and writing restaurant reviews.
In 2016, Donna received the Spirit of Hospitality Award by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority given to an outstanding individual who has made a long-lasting and significant contribution to the Atlantic City region’s hospitality and travel industry.
In 2021, Donna was awarded the Stevenson W. Fletcher Achievement Award by the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (ICHRIE). The award recognizes an individual educator or trainer for outstanding achievement in contributing innovative ideas, methods, or programs that have advanced teaching, learning, or practice in the field of hospitality and tourism education.
Larry Coia, Coia Vineyards
Larry Coia is a retired medical doctor who currently operates Coia Vineyards. He actively provides research, education, and funding for the grape growers of New Jersey as a member of the New Jersey Wine Advisory Council and as past president and emeritus member of the Board of Directors of the Outer Coastal Plain Vineyard Association.
Audrey Cross, Ph.D., MPH, J.D., Villa Milagro Vineyard
Dr. Audrey Cross is a renowned nutritionist and lawyer who has served as food & nutrition policy advisor to the California State Senate, US Senate, and Carter Administration. She was faculty at Columbia University School of Medicine while simultaneously enjoying a national career on television where she was a regular on the Today Show, CBS This Morning, The Learning Channel, and host of her own show on America’s Health Network. She is a multi-published academic and has written numerous nutrition books for the public. She holds a PhD in nutrition and public policy from the University of California Berkeley and a law degree from University of California Hastings College of Law. A farmer’s daughter from California’s verdant Central Valley, creating a vineyard and winery where farming and food come together is what she was meant to do. She is passionate about food, health, and the good life.
Denise Gardner, M.S., DG Winemaking
Denise Gardner is a Wine Consultant and Founder of DG Winemaking. She has been integrated in the grape and wine industries for 20 years with a background in wine production improvement, sensory evaluation, and research. Having worked in both industry and academia, as well as completing two industry accreditations (the Certified Specialist of Wine, CSW, from the Society of Wine Educators and the Level 3 certification from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, WSET), Denise provides a unique perspective and experience few hold in the wine industry.
DG Winemaking delivers focused consulting and educational services that improve wine production efficiency, quality, and marketability for wineries of all sizes. By assisting wineries with fermentation and production plans to optimize quality from grapes to package, providing effective wine processing decisions, assisting with compliance, and creating wines with intention to enhance quality, Denise’s clients have improved recognition among peers, competitions, consumers, and wine reviewers. Denise can work on wines of all styles, including formula wines that may require unique crafting for shelf stability. DG Winemaking is a one-of-a-kind consulting program that is crafted to offer convenience, accessibility, and practicality to wineries. These consulting services address common winemaker needs and connect people to build community within a vast, growing industry.
Hemant Gohil, Rutgers University, NJAES RCE
Bob Green, Presque Isle Wine Cellars
Robert (Bob) Green is the Executive Winemaker at Presque Isle Wine Cellars and oversees their Wine and Fresh Product operations. Bob has been a thoughtful and innovative winemaker for over 35 years, as well as being a longtime instructor at Mercyhurst University Culinary and Wine Institute and Director of the Viticulture and Enology program at Harrisburg Area Community College & currently Penn State University. Bob was trained at Penn State Erie as a benthologist, a biologist specializing in studying swamp life and ecosystems. This rigorous scientific and laboratory training and experience in tandem with Bob’s winemaking artistry are a powerful combination that has led to many memorable and award-winning wines produced throughout his career. Bob is also a winemaking consultant for 6+ wineries.
Tremain Hatch, MSc., MBA, Tremain Hatch Viticulture LLC
Tremain Hatch started his consulting business Tremain Hatch Viticulture in 2022. Tremain provides guidance to independent vineyard and wineries in Northern Virginia. Tremain brings to his consulting practice his experience from industry and innovative academic research. He spent 17 years working on a team with Virginia Tech’s Dr. Tony Wolf. Tremain served as the viticulture research and extension associate at Virginia Tech from 2010 to 2022. Within this role he generated and delivered innovative research to Virginia grape growers and was responsible for developing programs and outreach for new and experienced grape farmers in Virginia’s growing wine industry. Tremain finished an MSc in Horticulture at Virginia Tech in 2010. Tremain competed vineyard and winery practicums in Italy (2006), New Zealand (2009), and Virginia (2007 & 2010). Tremain completed a MBA at Shenandoah University (2017). Tremain is a third-generation farmer and has helped transition his family’s farm from dairy production to direct to consumer sales of pastured beef/lamb, honey, and wine at Zephaniah Farm Vineyard near Leesburg, VA.
Susan Hesleitner, DipWSET, FWS, New Jersey Wine School
Susan Hesleitner is the founder and lead instructor of the New Jersey Wine School. Prior to opening her school, Susan worked as a Retail Wine Specialist, assisting clients in the selection of their ideal wines.
She holds a Diploma from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust in London, England and is also a French Wine Scholar. Susan is a member of the Society of Wine Educators and the French Wine Society.
Kathy Kelley, Ph.D., Penn State Extension
Kathy is a Professor of Horticultural Marketing and Business Management with Penn State Extension. Her areas of expertise include alcoholic beverage trends, wine consumer attitudes and behaviors, produce and ethnic food marketing, retail layout and design, and promotional strategies.
The focus of Kathy’s Extension program is to develop business and marketing educational resources (e.g., presentations, fact sheets, blog entries, and webinars) for wineries, tasting rooms, and other agricultural producers and retailers. She conducts consumer and market research to learn what wine label information appeals to wine consumers, their preferences for bottle sizes and container materials, and what events and tasting room activities are likely to encourage consumers to visit.
Molly Kelly, Ph.D., Penn State Extension
Molly Kelly is an Enology Extension Educator with Penn State Extension. Her areas of expertise include enology, microbiology, wine analysis, wine production, and winery sanitation.
Molly supports the technical needs of the Pennsylvania wine industry and leads educational programming focusing on wine quality, winery sanitation, filtration, microscopy, wine analysis, and berry sensory analysis.
Molly’s research has focused on the effect of nitrogen and sulfur applications on Petit Manseng wine aroma and flavor. Her current research includes a pre-harvest, on-the-vine dehydration study in collaboration with Virginia Tech University.
Zoran Ljepovic, M.S.
Zoran consults winegrowers in California, Michigan, and Croatia and teaches VESTA online enology classes. He previously worked in various winemaking and quality roles at Badel 1862 Croatia, Franciscan, R. Mondavi, Clos du Bois, and Wente. He very much enjoys judging and company at various wine competitions such as El Dorado, Ohio, Finger Lakes (FLIWC), Indiana (IIWC), and California State Home Winemakers Competition in Lodi. He presented various winemaking and quality topics at ASEV, UWGS and brewers and vintners symposium. His educational background includes an Engineer of Agronomy degree in Enology, Viticulture and Pomology from the University of Zagreb, Croatia and a Master of Science degree in Enology from California State University.
Gary C. Pavlis, Rutgers University, NJAES RCE
Gary James Pickering, Ph.D., Brock University
After nine years in the health industry in both New Zealand and Australia, Gary decided to combine his passion for wine and science and pursue an academic career in enology. After completing a PhD in Wine Science, Gary joined Charles Sturt University at Wagga Wagga, Australia, as Lecturer in Wine Science in 1997. He then moved to the Eastern Institute of Technology, New Zealand in 1999 as Research Manager and Senior Lecturer in Wine Science.
Gary left the sunny shores of New Zealand for Brock University, Canada, in 2000, where he is employed as a full Professor of Oenology within the Departments of Biological Sciences and Psychology and in the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute. Gary’s main teaching assignments are Sensory Evaluation of Wine, Advanced Wine Flavour, and Environmental Psychology. He has an active research program specializing in wine flavor, sensory science and development of novel wine products and processes, and has published over 130 peer-reviewed papers. A new and developing research interest is sustainability science. He is the recipient of several research awards, and is passionate about helping new and developing wine regions to flourish. Gary is President of the consulting firm Picksen International Inc., serves as an international wine judge, and is an Adjunct Professor at the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre at Charles Sturt University, and the University of the Sunshine Coast, both in Australia.
5 Reasons to Attend the Grape and Wine Science Certificate Program
- Convenient Schedule
This program consists of one four-week session held in the classroom, which includes hands-on workshops and trips to three local wineries. The classroom session is followed by a four-week, full-time or eight-week, part-time paid internship at a local winery. Rutgers will assist students with locating an internship placement.
- Expert Instructors
Learn from the experts in the field: enologists, sensory scientists, winery owners, consultants, and Rutgers faculty and extension specialists.
- Practical Content
Gain marketable skills in the industry, from grape growing and vineyard management, to wine production operations, to marketing wines.
- Hands-on Training
Apply the skills you gained in the classroom through hands-on workshops and field visits and put them into action throughout your paid internship.
- Flexible Internships
After the conclusion of the classroom component, you will complete a 4-week paid internship at a local winery. Part-time internships (for the equivalent hours) can be arranged for those who cannot fulfill a full-time internship.
Grape and Wine Science Certificate Program Requirements and Policies
Lunch will be available on the first and last day of the program.
NOTE: If you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies, please alert us at least one (1) week in advance of the course start date so that we can make reasonable accommodations. We cannot guarantee accommodations for special requests made after that time.
COVID-19 Mask & Vaccination Policy
All students attending this program are required to comply with these rules to gain entry to class:
- Be fully vaccinated* and provide proof of vaccination by bringing your vaccine card on the first day of class
- Not accepted at this time: negative COVID tests, proof of antibody levels, exemptions
- Present valid photo ID on the first day of class with name matching vaccination card
- Wear face masks indoors in all indoor spaces (includes both classrooms and public spaces like restrooms, hallways, elevators, stairwells, etc.). Masks may be temporarily removed while eating or drinking indoors.
*To ensure adequate time for an immune response to occur, a person is considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after completion of a two-dose mRNA series (Pfizer or Moderna) or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
*Policy is based on current information available. You will receive an email prior to the course with any updated information or changes to the COVID policy.
Don’t forget to bring a mask and your proof of vaccination to class!
If you are not feeling well or have any COVID symptoms, please protect yourself and others by staying home. Contact us to cancel your registration at 848-932-9271, option 2 or email@example.com.
A unique email address is required for each registrant to register and access our courses.
- If this is your first time registering with us, please provide your own unique email address when registering; do not provide an email address that you share with co-workers.
- If you have previously taken classes with us and have used an email address that you share with your co-workers or supervisor, your account must be updated with a unique email address. To do this, please send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org stating that your email address needs to be changed and include:
- Your full name
- The shared email address that needs to be changed
- Your unique email address
- A phone number where you can be reached if we have any questions
Campus Parking Policy
All visitors must register their vehicles ONLINE to park on campus. Please follow the guidelines below. Failure to comply with these policies may result in a citation.
- A link will be provided in your course registration confirmation email. Please be sure to complete this important step prior to traveling to campus.
- When you park on campus, be sure that your license plate is unobstructed and visible from the driving aisle.
- All Rutgers faculty/staff/students must use their regular Rutgers permit and park in the nearest lot assigned for their permit type.
Cancellations and Substitutions
The application fee is non-refundable. A $300 cancellation fee applies for this course. Substitutions are permitted. View our cancellation policy.
Program Questions? We’re Here to Help!
If you have any questions about the Grape and Wine Science Certificate, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.