Purdue’s Affordable Online Course is a compact yet comprehensive set of essential knowledge for winemakers


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Professional winemakers and employees in the wine industry who want to improve their knowledge, skills, business and career, as well as serious non-commercial winemakers looking to spend their time at the start-up professional level, can get the technical knowledge that they need from Purdue University.

The Purdue Winemaking Certificate Online Course is an affordable, compact yet comprehensive review of commercial winemaking principles and practices. It includes six progressive modules covering the floor from grape to glass. Topics range from a critical review of winemaking techniques, styles and traditions to advice on aging, stabilization, filtration, bottling and maximizing shelf life. Parts of the program focus specifically on winemaking in Indiana, the Midwest, and the eastern United States, but much of it applies to wineries around the world.

The online course is invaluable for those working in the wine industry, whether they are novice wineries or seasoned winemakers. He teaches people who already make wine how to make better wine and how to improve their cellar results. Participants should have previous or concurrent experience in winemaking, and it may be helpful to have completed an introductory wine course, such as Purdue Wine Appreciation Course Series.

“The course is suitable for different skill and experience levels, and all participants will gain new knowledge and update their existing knowledge, even if they have already taken other wine-making courses”, said Christian Butzke, wine teacher at Purdue, who developed and teaches the Certificate in Winemaking course. .

Butzke, professor of oenology (the science of wine and winemaking), is a past president of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture and an award-winning commercial winemaker and wine competition judge. He is the editor of the technical book “Winemaking Problems Solved” for commercial winemakers and the author of the popular “Wine Appreciation” manual.

Butzke has been teaching oenology for almost 30 years and was due to be a visiting professor in Italy in 2020 before the viral pandemic made travel abroad impossible. He ended up packing his Italian presentations for online consumption, which led to the idea of ​​developing the new online certificate course in winemaking.

“Everything I know about winemaking is in this course,” said Butzke. “It really brings everything together into a complete package.”

Each module includes multiple video lectures and additional material, as well as interaction with the instructor and other students. A comprehensive 100-question exam tests students’ knowledge upon completion with the aim of applying what they have learned in their own winemaking efforts. Butzke is available for consultation on technical matters even after participants have completed the course.

“If they have a problem, suggestion or idea that they want to share with other participating winemakers, they can discuss it openly or confidentially in my class,” said Butzke.

Someone can complete all of the modules in six weeks, but students have one year to complete the course at their own pace and earn the Purdue Winemaking Certificate. Cost is $ 999 for Indiana residents, $ 1,250 for out-of-state participants.

Modules include:

  • Principles of winemaking, recap of techniques, styles and traditions to anchor students in the fundamentals of commercial wine creation and the challenges involved.
  • Winemaking Issues, covering best practices from designing a winery to running a successful wine business.
  • Wine stability, highlighting ways to adjust and ensure the desired composition and quality of a finished wine, including key stabilization and fining techniques for a low input approach to winemaking.
  • Filtration, Bottling and Closures, presenting methods to ensure the maintenance of the quality of a well-crafted wine throughout the final stages of processing, and beyond, allowing the winemaker to sleep well at night.
  • Wine quality, aging and shelf life, examining aspects of a good wine’s success in the market and the global wine industry supply chain that enables winemakers to optimize health, complexity, potential aging and value of their wines.
  • Regional Typicity, Terroir and Climate Change, envisioning the future of viticulture and winemaking and preparing winegrowers for adjustments in the wake of global warming and changing consumer preferences.

For more information on the Purdue Online Certificate of Winemaking see the course web page.

Writer: Greg Kline, 765-426-8545, [email protected]

Source: Christian Butzke, 765-494-6500, [email protected]



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