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Coronavirus COVID-19

The V&E Program is following CDC, state, and university recommendations to practice social distancing in order to slow the spread of the novel COVID-19 virus. We have temporarily modified our operations to include teleworking options for our faculty, staff and graduate students, but remain available to serve you during regular business hours though email, phone and videoconference. Visit WSU’s source of updates and information about COVID-19 at

Viticulture Course Topics

Grapevine Anatomy and Physiology

Taught by Dr. Markus Keller, this course is an introduction to the physical structure of the grapevine, the various organs, their functions, and their interactions with the environment. This course focuses on those elements of physiology that will enhance your understanding of vine function and how they relate to grape production. The course will cover the basic concepts in growth and development, water relations, photosynthesis, respiration, mineral uptake and utilization, and carbon partitioning. Then these concepts will be put to use to understand plant-environment interactions including stress physiology and an introduction to canopy dynamics, yield formation and fruit composition.

Lecture Topics:

Lecture 1 – Botany and Geography
Lecture 2 – Roots, Shoots and Buds
Lecture 3 – Leaves and Clusters
Lecture 4 – Phenology and Growth Cycle
Lecture 5 – Water Relations and Nutrient Uptake
Lecture 6 – Photosynthesis and Respiration
Lecture 7 – Transport and Distribution
Lecture 8 – Canopy and Environment
Lecture 9 – Nutrient Use – Nitrogen
Lecture 10 – Yield Formation
Lecture 11 – Fruit Composition
Lecture 12 – Cold Damage

Soil and Nutrient Management

The objective of this course is to introduce concepts of soil science with an emphasis on soil properties for premium wine grape production. We will address soil formation, physical and chemical properties, as well so soil and, to a lesser extent, water management. Topics will be addressed to cover the concepts behind and practical guidance for decision making for soil and nutrient management, including aspects of soil water as this influences plant nutrient availability. Concepts covered will be: nutrient management strategies and needs for newly planted and established vineyards; irrigation water quality and quantity management as related to soil and nutrient management.

Lectures Topics:

Lecture 1 – Introduction: Soil Formation and Soil Forming Factors
Lecture 2 – Soil Architecture & Physical Properties
Lecture 3 – Physics of Soil Water
Lecture 4 – Soil Chemical Properties
Lecture 5 – Soil Biology
Lecture 6 – Essential Plant Nutrients: Uptake of Soil-Derived Nutrients
Lecture 7 – Managing Soil Nutrients; Fertilizers: Foliar vs. Granular
Lecture 8 – Soil Testing; Tissue Testing
Lecture 9 – Managing pH and Salt-Affected Soils; Irrigation Water Quality
Lecture 10 – Managing Soil Physical Properties
Lecture 11 – Soil Variability; Site Preparation 


Principles and Practices of Grapevine Irrigation

The course is taught by Dr.Troy Peters, WSU Irrigation Specialist. After completing this course you will understand the principles of irrigation and be able to predict the irrigation needs and timing of grapevines, and have the knowledge to design and install a drip irrigation system, a chemigation system, and be familiar with the different types of soil moisture monitors so you can make the appropriate choices for your vineyard.

Lectures Topics:

Lecture 1 – Irrigation Scheduling
Lecture 2 – Drip Irrigation Systems
Lecture 3 – Grapevine Irrigation
Lecture 4 – Chemigation & Soil Moisture Sensors

Viral Diseases of Grapevines

In this course you will learn about the viruses that affect grapevines, how they spread, how they manifest themselves, and how they effect the subsequent wine. After completing the virus disease course you will be aware of the importance of planting certified disease free vines.

Lecture Topics:

Lecture 1 – Viral Diseases of Grapevine
Lecture 2 – Symptoms and Vectors
Lecture 3 – Rugose Wood and Grapevine Fanleaf Diseases
Lecture 4 – Conditions That Mimic Virus Symptoms 


Growing Grapes

This course is designed to teach students about practical viticulture production. Several aspects of viticulture management for premium wine grape production will be covered, including wine grape variety selection, optimization of site selection, use of clean plant material, vineyard trellising and layout, canopy management, and measuring harvest maturity. By the end of this course, you should be able to have the information needed to begin planning your vineyard.

Lectures Topics:

Lecture 1 – Introduction to Grape Production
Lecture 2 – Site Selection and Land Preparation
Lecture 3 – Variety Selection, Rootstocks, Propagation
Lecture 4 – Trellising, Training and Pruning Systems
Lecture 5 – New Vineyard Establishment
Lecture 6 – Canopy Management
Lecture 7 – Crop Management
Lecture 8 – Vineyard Equipment
Lecture 9 – Winter Freezes and Spring Frosts
Lecture 10 – Miscellaneous Limiting Factors


Insects and Biological Control

This course, taught by Dr. David James, will introduce you to the insect pests of the grapevine with an emphasis on the pests of Washington State. It will cover the predators for insects, the principles strategies of biological control and how to apply them in the vineyard.

Lectures Topics:

Lecture 1 – Insect and Mite Pests in Washington Vineyards
Lecture 2 – Biological Control of Insects and Mites in Washington Vineyards
Lecture 3 – Beneficial Insects and Mites in Washington Vineyards

Disease Management of Grapes

In this comprehensive course you will develop a basic understanding of plant pathology and what causes plant disease. You will also learn strategies in plant disease and pesticide resistance management, in addition to identifying major diseases in Washington vineyards, as well as important grape diseases world-wide.

Lecture Topics:

Lecture 1 – Introduction to Grape Production
Lecture 2 – Site Selection and Land Preparation
Lecture 3 – Variety Selection, Rootstocks, Propagation
Lecture 4 – Trellising, Training and Pruning Systems
Lecture 5 – New Vineyard Establishment
Lecture 6 – Canopy Management
Lecture 7 – Crop Management
Lecture 8 – Vineyard Equipment
Lecture 9 – Winter Freezes and Spring Frosts
Lecture 10 – Miscellaneous Limiting Factors


Weeds Management

This course, taught by Dr. Tim Miller, will cover all aspects of weed management in the vineyard including the methods and timing, the limitations, and the efficacy of mechanical, cultural and chemical methods. An emphasis will be placed on the chemical controls available and how to use them in the safest, most effective and most economical ways.

The Lectures Topics are:

Lecture 1 – Biology of Weeds
Lecture 2 – Weed Reproduction
Lecture 3 – Non-Chemical Weed Control Strategies
Lecture 4 – Chemical Weed Control Strategies

Application Technology

This course will focus on proper use and maintenance of sprayers to minimize drift and optimize spray efficacy. Students will learn sprayer parts, function, and maintenance;proper calibration and optimizing nozzle selection, air direction and volume, and understanding the effects of environment on spray quality

Lectures Topics:

Lecture 1 – Introduction and Sprayer Parts
Lecture 2 – Calibration of Airblast Sprayer
Lecture 3 – Optimization to Maximize Coverage and Minimize Drift
Lecture 4 – Environment Conditions and Beyond Airblast

Economics of Grape Production

This course will provide information on the economic aspects of developing or starting a premium wine grape vineyard. Included in the program are the basic economics, financial tools and statements that are needed to effectively own and operate a vineyard. In addition, a portion of the course will focus on the development of a business plan and contracts for a vineyard.

Lectures Topics:

Lecture 1 – Introduction and Business Planning
Lecture 2 – Wine Economies
Lecture 3 – Economic Concepts and Vineyard Contracts 
Lecture 4 – Time Value of Money
Lecture 5 – Financial Statements
Lecture 6 – Vineyard Costs of Operation
Lecture 7 – Credit


V&E Interface

This course covers the basics of biochemistry as it related to winemaking. You will be introduced to winemaking and the major components in grapes that influence winemaking and wine quality.

Lectures Topics:

Lecture 1 – Review of Biochemistry
Lecture 2 – Overview of Winemaking
Lecture 3 – Sugars
Lecture 4 – Acids
Lecture 5 – Phenolic Compounds
Lecture 6 – Aromatic Compounds