Texas Tech has third class of viticulture grads

Dr. Ed Hellman, director of the Department of Plant and Soil Science at Texas Tech University, greets visitors to the viticulture certificate ceremony of TTU-Fredericksburg’s third, and largest, class on Saturday at Hill Country University Center. TTU directors and wine enthusiasts also are gearing up for the addition of an enology certificate program. See page A/B10 for story and graduate photos. — Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

By Ken Esten Cooke —


“Wine making is a tremendous craft — both an art and a science,” said Dr. Ed Hellman, director of viticulture in the Department of Plant and Soil Science at Texas Tech University. “And Fredericksburg is the obvious place to study this.”

Hellman greeted a crowd of more than 100 friends and family of the third graduating class of graduates of Texas Tech’s Viticulture Certificate program in a casual ceremony held Saturday at the Hill Country University Center.

“Previous graduates of this program have established vineyards and started wineries,” he said. “So we’re really excited for our 29 new graduates.”

Instructor Kirk Williams guided this cohort of students through the two-year program using in-person and online instruction. TTU-Fredericksburg also established its first teaching vineyard last spring on a plot of land at the Hill Country University Center.

“We plan to set up a weather station and a web cam in the vineyard,” Hellman said. “We also are excited about our new enology instructor, Dr. Maureen Qualia, who will lead courses at TTU-Fredericksburg in a new two-year Enology Certificate program.

Qualia is a fourth-generation wine-maker, Hellman said.

Hellman said TTU may also offer local, one-day workshops to address industry needs.

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