Tri-Valley residents will soon be able to pop open a bottle of wine made by students at Livermore's Las Positas College, after the school's Campus Hill Winery was recently licensed to produce and sell the fermented fruits of its labor to the public.
In a statement last week, campus representatives called receiving the Viticulture and Enology Foundation license, which was issued in May, "a tremendous opportunity ... to build upon the heritage of Tri-Valley's wine country."
The community college has had its own vineyard since 2007, where instructors guide students enrolled in their viticulture and enology programs through the grapes-to-grades learning process. LPC has the only community college wine program in the area.
"Students learn the entire process from growing the fruit and taking care of the vineyard, to harvest, crush, fermentation, bottling and labeling," said Nan Ho, LPC's dean of academic service for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. "Now our community can purchase the wine the students have made."
Campus Hill's new license allows students to now bottle and sell their own vino onsite and at local restaurants and wine shops. It also lets the winery join in future competitions with commercial cellars.
This year the program's "South Slope Field Blend," a red wine, took home gold and Best of Show/Double Gold in the amateur category at the Alameda County Fair wine competition.
The license is "an exciting milestone" that "will give students experience in a producing winery" and also expand their skill set to include interfacing with other businesses, according to David Everett, LPC's viticulture and winery technology faculty and program coordinator. "Having the students gain experience selling wine face-to-face with retailers will be a great learning opportunity," he said.
White and rosé wines from LPC's fall 2019 harvest could be on shelves as soon as next spring, and a red wine could be on the rise in another year. To learn more about LPC's wine classes, including world wines, introduction to enology and winery operations, visit www.laspositascollege.edu/vwt/.