Yavapai College, the Wine Industry, and Smart Planning
Yavapai College, located in Clarkdale, Arizona, serves as a model for innovative and visionary thinking at the community college level. Over the past several years, the school has implemented a viticulture program, the only one in the state of Arizona, and planted twenty acres of wine-producing grape vines. This supports the local community, which is becoming a wine mecca. The vineyard “provides students with hands-on real world, scientific experience in vineyard establishment and management including, plant science, water management, vine selection, land preparation, and planting and harvesting the grapes.” The associated winery can “support the production of 3,000 cases of wine per year.”
As one might expect, students must be at least 21 years old to pursue the Viticulture & Enology Associates of Applied Science Degree. The college further intends to expand its hospitality and culinary offerings to meet the needs of a region growing in population and sophistication. For instance, the Southwest Wine Center on the Yavapai campus will serve as an educational hub of activity while facilitating the needs of wine growers throughout the southwestern United States. The campus ground plan and architecture reflect equally impressive forward thinking, as evidenced by the school’s attractive outdoor amphitheater. Community colleges throughout the country will continue to take note of Yavapai College’s willingness to see into the future and apply itself usefully to meet inevitable needs in the region.