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Napa Valley College Breaks Ground on Wine Spectator Wine Education Center

Wine Spectator Wine Education Center

Wine Spectator Wine Education Center

NAPA, CA, May 17, 2024 – Napa Valley College broke ground on the Wine Spectator Wine Education Center today, followed by a special ceremony attended by students, faculty and community dignitaries. 

This is the first of two phases to build The Napa Valley College Wine Education Complex, which will more than double classroom and training space with more than 10,000 square feet of modern, efficient learning space.

The complex will provide education and employment in winegrowing and winemaking, as well as wine marketing and sales. The new facilities will also support the College’s new Food and Wine Pathway Program, providing complementary degree programs in Viticulture Winery Technology (VWT) and Hospitality Culinary Tourism Management (HCTM). 

“Our new winery chef certificate will meet a growing trend in the industry by combining wine and hospitality skills into one complementary degree the industry is asking for aimed at the direct-to-consumer market,” said Dr. Torence Powell, superintendent and president of Napa Valley College “The complex will help meet needs locally and beyond.” 

In Napa County, for example, the hospitality industry will see the highest growth in upcoming years, with a combined total of 2,272 new jobs by 2028. 

Phase 1: The Wine Spectator Wine Education Center

Phase 1 of the complex, The Wine Spectator Wine Education Center, is fully funded through a generous $10 million Wine Spectator lead gift from the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation with additional funding from the estate of college supporter Evelyn Allen.

Complementing the college’s Napa Valley Vintners Teaching Winery and vineyard, the center will include two flexible sensory classrooms with seating for up to 80 students at a time, and an upgrade to the existing Trefethen laboratory classroom with 28 lab stations. 

Offering degrees in Viticulture, Winemaking and Wine Marketing and Sales, the Wine Spectator Wine Education Center will also offer multiple industry certificates, including Winery Management and Operations, Vineyard Management, Vineyard Pest Scout, Viticulture Operations, Wine Laboratory Technician and more.

“The ample educational opportunities offered through the Wine Spectator Wine Education Center will allow students to build extensive wine related skills through an assortment of educational programs and degrees, all designed to enhance their careers," stated Marvin R. Shanken, Editor and Publisher, Wine Spectator. “I am thrilled to be able to support this vital need for both Napa Valley College and the wine industry.”

Phase II: Wine and Hospitality Training Center

Today’s groundbreaking also officially kicked off a capital campaign to raise $4 million for Phase II of the Wine Education Center Complex, the Wine and Hospitality Training Center.

The center will be flexible space that will provide training in all aspects of wine marketing, sales and hospitality, including winery food programs, direct to consumer sales, wine club membership, tasting room management, tourism and wine culinary training. 

It will include a demonstration kitchen to provide hands-on training for students, a tasting bar and movable sit-down seating to emulate a variety of hospitality and tasting room scenarios, and an event space to host industry trainings, educational events, guest lecturers and wine industry professionals.

“The Napa Valley College Wine and Hospitality Training Center will provide the proper facility for our students to acquire vital skills needed for today’s job competitive market,” said Michael Baldacci, Napa Valley College Foundation board member and capital campaign chair. 


Napa Valley College is in a unique position to provide expanded wine education, with job placement rates from its Viticulture and Winery Technology (VWT) program consistently exceeding 80%:

·       The VWT program provides viticulture, winemaking and wine marketing and sales programs, granting certificates and associate of science degrees. 

·       The program contains more than 30 accredited classes with units that transfer to national and international four-year degree programs. 

·       The college’s Napa Valley Vintners Teaching Winery is the first bonded winery in the California community college system.  

·       Napa Valley College is one of the few community colleges in California that offers on-campus student housing, opening in August 2024.

For more information on Napa Valley College Foundation, the Wine Spectator Wine Education Center and the Wine and Hospitality Training Center, please visit


Media Contacts:
Fuller & Sander Communications
Tom Fuller,, 707-486-8968
Monty Sander,, 707-480-8635

Napa Valley College
Rodd Aubrey,