Linfield College in Oregon has decided to begin a wine studies program.
The private college, located in McMinnville in the heart of the Willamette Valley’s Pinot noir region, will grant students a wine studies minor to go along with their major degree program.
Students will learn about the history, culture, production, business and science of wine, and its social and economic significance in Oregon and beyond, according to a Linfield news release.
The latter is well documented. A California firm, Full Glass Research, estimated the Oregon wine industry’s economic impact at $3.35 billion. The figure counts crop value, sales, jobs and direct and indirect services and businesses.
The Linfield program will aim to produce graduates with a broad understanding of the industry and who, combined with their major field of study, will be able to step into jobs. The college anticipates students will combine a wine studies minor with majors such as management, marketing, accounting, mass communications, biology, chemistry or international business, according to a news release.
Other universities offer deeper programs. University of California-Davis has taught all phases of winemaking for nearly 50 years, while Washington State University and Oregon State University have well-established viticulture and enology programs. OSU also established a Wine Research Institute on campus.
But Linfield has hosted the International Pinot Noir Celebration since it began 30 years ago, faculty are engaged in research projects and the campus houses the Oregon Wine History Project and wine archives.