On the Job Training: UGA Students Experience Vineyard Management, Winemaking

Clint Thompson Georgia, Grapes, Top Posts

An environmental resource science major, Diamond Clark said that her Winegrowers of Georgia internship has helped her understand how environmental science and agriculture intertwine.

Internships lead to experience for students in fields they are interested in. They seek opportunities that will help further their education and develop future job skills. For three University of Georgia interns, their summer internship experience has been very engaging.

Through a partnership between the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) and the Winegrowers Association of Georgia, three UGA students were chosen to explore the world of viticulture and enology as Winegrowers of Georgia interns. The students were placed with host vineyards in north Georgia. This enabled them to stay close to Athens while learning about a global industry.

Ashleigh Lang, Trent Sutton and Diamond Clark have tasks that revolve around various areas of production including vineyard management, fermentation and racking, bottling and marketing the wine.

Student Observations

Lang, a junior pursuing a double major in agricultural communication and hospitality and food industry management, reflected on the labor-intensive work that’s required to make great wine at Engelheim Vineyards in Ellijay, Georgia.

“I have learned there is a lot that goes into the vines and wine,” Lang said after a long day of hand-netting rows of vines to protect the grapes from birds and other animals. “The vines have to constantly be tended to ensure the best fruit is produced.” 

Sutton, a senior majoring in environmental resource science, has had a similar experience at Tiger Mountain Vineyards in Tiger, Georgia. While he has spent numerous hours working in the sun, pruning and training the grapevines, he said one of his favorite opportunities came when he helped hand-bottle this year’s vintage.

“It was neat to see how two years of working with wine ends up as a final product that can be sold to customers,” he said. “It provided me with the experience of seeing the end of the winemaking process after being able to work in many other parts of the process.”

Clark, another senior majoring in environmental resource science, has participated in new experiences of her own at Stonewall Creek Vineyards in Tiger, Georgia. This internship has helped her see how environmental science and agriculture are intertwined.

“Environmental science and agriculture are two different things, but they can go hand-in-hand — and most of the time they do,” she said. “My passion is for the environment, and I wanted to experience the field work.”

For More Information

For more information on internship opportunities available through CAES, visit caes.uga.edu/students.

Source: UGA CAES Newswire