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Wine: The Essentials at Yavapai College... coming this spring!

I could not be more excited to be teaching a "Wine 101" class at Yavapai College this spring! An essential centerpiece in the local winemaking community, the Southwest Wine Center at Yavapai College is the only school in Arizona to offer degrees in enology and viticulture. With 13 acres of sustainably-farmed vineyards and a state-of-the-art winemaking facility, the Southwest Wine Center draws students from throughout the southwest and offers an immersive experience in winemaking from planting vines to selling bottles in the tasting room. I believe that the work done at the SWC will pave the way for future generations of Arizona winemakers and serves as one of the most important influences in the local wine industry today.

The educators that run the program and teach classes are all passionate individuals who have a genuine love for the industry and their students regularly produce award-wining wines and go on to start their own wineries or move into winemaking positions for well-known local producers. I've been consistently impressed with the quality of wines that are made by the students in the program. So much so that I recently purchased an entire lot of the SWC "Delta" Sangiovese for the wine program at Enchantment Resort.

I am so grateful to have the opportunity to teach as part of this institution and cannot wait to share my passion with others in this community.

As part of the Community Education arm of the college, the course does not require you to be enrolled in the college to register. The course is entirely online, via Zoom, so literally anyone, anywhere can attend and join in the fun!


6 Wednesdays

3/24/2021 - 4/28/2021

3 - 5 pm

$120 (10% discount for OLLI members)

Register at or call 928-634-6537

Course Description:

Let’s taste wine together! This introductory course will cover essential knowledge for appreciating wine and provide a foundation for diving into the world of wine. We will cover the basics of how wine is made, from work that is done in the vineyard to all of the important choices that winemakers can make in the cellar. We will discuss the characteristics of the most common grape varieties in the world, explore where and how they grow and their distinct attributes. We will also cover the fundamentals of tasting wine, learning about color, aromas, and texture. Principles of pairing wines with food and smart wine buying practices will also be woven in throughout the course. Students will leave with a fundamental understanding of the world of wine, ready to take their wine appreciation to the next level.

Students will purchase between $80-120 in wine during this course; a convenient list and where to acquire the wines will be provided.

(This class is conducted via Zoom technology! You'll receive instructions and a secure Zoom link prior to the class beginning. PLEASE NOTE: This class is not intended as a replacement for credit classes on the subject, as it does not wholly reproduce any existing credit class. If you are looking for a credit-level course on a similar subject, please contact the registrar's office at 928-717-7777.)

Wines for the course are all available at Vino di Sedona. Students receive a 10% on one bottle, and a 15% discount on all six, just mention that you are enrolled in Cara's Wine Essentials class. If you're not able to come to Vino di Sedona, contact me and I will give you a list of comparable wines that are easily found in your area.

The Wines:

Southwest Wine Center Piquepoul

Lyric Pinot Noir

Marques de Caceres Crianza Rioja

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc

Dough Cabernet

Brooks Oak Ridge Gewurztraminer

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