Viticulture 101

September 13, 2007

David and I had our first class last night at Chemeketa Eola Viticulture Center southwest of Salem, Ore. We’re taking Viticulture 101, a 3-credit class that will dunk us in the reality of how to grow grapes and keep them from dying or tasting real bad. That’s the goal.

The bad news is that it’s in Salem, on Wednesday evenings, 6-9pm. The wine center is a solid 75-minute drive in decent conditions, and I’m worried what will happen if we hit really awesome traffic out of Portland, as it’s rush hour. Last night was not terrible.

The good news is that the center is gorgeous, almost shockingly so. I’ve taken classes at various institutions of higher learning, and, with the exception of the century-old redbrick court of buildings at the University of Birmingham (UK), most have been in really ugly buildings. Especially those at the community college level. But the wine center is on a quiet rise in the hills. The driveway is a narrow wind through tall maples, and the grounds are extensively landscaped with interesting plants. The interior is not bad either; our classroom has a clerestory of windows along the back wall and overlooks the 8-acre onsite vineyard. Plus the wireless is good and easy.

Not to mention that I’m way into the subject matter. Damn the drive. This is awesome.

A couple of photos of the view from the terrace there. There’s even a fountain.


  1. Dude says:

    “It’s a naive domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think you’ll be amused by its presumption.”

  2. Javi says:

    Very well in deed! But what does 101 mean? One on One? I´m spanish and I haven´t heard that before.

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