Community Column: Texas Fine Wine fundraiser to support PAC students
October 13, 2021
Palo Alto College’s Viticulture and Enology program is off to a great start. In August, we broke ground at the future site of the Vineyard and Hops Yard and unveiled plans for a new experiential learning opportunity for students. As the winemaking industry booms in Texas, there is an increasing need for more skilled labor at vineyards and wineries as well as entrepreneurial opportunities.
As we continue to grow the new Viticulture and Enology program, one of the creative ways we are bringing wine tasting to the city’s South Side is by hosting a wine appreciation event with our partners at Pedernales Cellars, Bending Branch Winery, Ron Yates Wines, Duchman Family Winery, and H-E-B.
Recently, we hosted a series of tasting events at the partnered wineries to apply the WSET method of describing wines and review key factors that influence the characteristics of the wines such as soil, climate, grape variety, and aspects of the production and maturation process. Additionally, we hosted a wine pairing with celebrity Chef Brian West at the Copa Wine Bar, where participants had the opportunity to learn about pairing food with wine during a three-course meal.
All of these events have led up to our final event, Palo Alto College’s first Texas Fine Wine Appreciation featuring certified sommelier and Texas Wine Specialist Taryn Woodall. Raise a glass with us on Thursday, Oct. 28, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Palo Alto College. Admission is $50 per person and includes a sensory evaluation of Texas fine wines and wine pairings. Participants must be 21 years of age.
Current students enrolled in the program are provided a thorough, scientific understanding of the wine-making process, hands-on experience with lab analyses, and also get exposure to winery equipment and operations, including behind-the-scenes tours at local wineries. Proceeds from these events will benefit the students in the Viticulture and Enology program.
This column by Dr. Robert Garza, president of Palo Alto College, was originally published in the San Antonio Express-News' Southside Reporter and mysanantonio.com.