TSTC toasts to new wine makers degree - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

WACO

TSTC toasts to new wine makers degree

WACO, TX (KXXV) -

As the Central Texas wine industry continues to grow, skilled and educated workers are in high demand. Texas State Technical College's new Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Program, also known as VESTA, hopes to fill that void.

VESTA is only in 20 states nationwide and now thanks to TSTC, it's the only program of its kind in the state.

The local wine industry is buzzing. Wineries and vineyards are popping up everywhere.

Co-owner of Red Caboose Winery in Clifton, Gary McKibben, says as the industry grows, so does the need for skilled workers.

"The wine making industry in Texas is growing very rapidly and we're always in need of help. Finding good qualified help is always a challenge," McKibben.

Statewide VESTA Coordinator and Co-owner of Red Caboose Winery, Evan McKibben, says their program is unique.

"We have enology, viticulture and entrepreneurship. So not only do we educate people on how to grow grapes and make wine but we're educating people on how to start their own winery or start their own vineyard." 

The program is a hybrid major with most classes being taken online, coupled with hands-on experience at local wineries.

"The neat thing about the program though is that the student is paired with a mentor winery or vineyard," says Evan McKibben. "So you're not just on your own as a student. You're actually going to a winery or a vineyard and learning from people who are already in the industry."

"They're helping us sanitize the equipment and bottle the wine here," says Gary McKibben. "When we start pruning in another month then they will go to phase of the wine-making process, the vineyard side of it and immediately after that the picking, the harvesting and the making of the wine." 

When students graduate they'll be ripe for the picking from the more than 300 wineries throughout the state.

And though TSTC's program is still in the budding stages, there are already plans for offering on campus classes starting next fall.

TSTC was awarded a four year, $217,000 grant funded by the National Science Foundation and Texas is one of only 20 states nationwide to supply the growing demand for workers.

  • NewsMore>>

  • US leaving UN's Human Rights Council, cites anti-Israel bias

    US leaving UN's Human Rights Council, cites anti-Israel bias

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 1:21 AM EDT2018-06-20 05:21:04 GMT
    Wednesday, June 20 2018 8:51 AM EDT2018-06-20 12:51:55 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2018, file photo, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to reporters at United Nations headquarters. Haley says the U.S. is withdrawing from UN Human Rights Council, cal...(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2018, file photo, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to reporters at United Nations headquarters. Haley says the U.S. is withdrawing from UN Human Rights Council, cal...

    The U.S. is leaving the U.N. Human Rights Council, which Ambassador Nikki Haley calls an organization "not worthy of its name."

    More >>

    The U.S. is leaving the U.N. Human Rights Council, which Ambassador Nikki Haley calls an organization "not worthy of its name."

    More >>
  • Trump administration pulls US out of UN human rights council

    Trump administration pulls US out of UN human rights council

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 12:00 PM EDT2018-06-19 16:00:59 GMT
    Wednesday, June 20 2018 8:44 AM EDT2018-06-20 12:44:25 GMT
    (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File). FILE - This is a Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2008 file photo, showing a general view of the Human Rights Room (Room XX) at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Diplomats say the United...(Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File). FILE - This is a Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2008 file photo, showing a general view of the Human Rights Room (Room XX) at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Diplomats say the United...
    The Trump administration is poised to announce its departure from the United Nations' main human rights body in its latest withdrawal from an international institution.More >>
    The Trump administration is poised to announce its departure from the United Nations' main human rights body in its latest withdrawal from an international institution.More >>
  • APNewsBreak: Youngest migrants held in 'tender age' shelters

    APNewsBreak: Youngest migrants held in 'tender age' shelters

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 9:12 PM EDT2018-06-20 01:12:25 GMT
    Wednesday, June 20 2018 8:43 AM EDT2018-06-20 12:43:09 GMT
    Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

    Migrant babies and young children are being held in special "tender age" shelters after being taken from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

    More >>

    Migrant babies and young children are being held in special "tender age" shelters after being taken from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly