YVCC students host 'Teach, Tour and Taste' event

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Commenting about notes in a glass of Limberger wine is Ana Licano. She visited the Grandview campus of Yakima Valley Community College last night Wednesday during the "Teach, Tour and Taste" event hosted by students there, including Licano's brother Jose (right).

GRANDVIEW - Students studying winery technology at Yakima Valley Community College were tasked to coordinate and promote a wine education and tasting event, and they delivered this past Wednesday night.

Students taking business marketing classes went all out, providing the public an opportunity to tour the Grandview campus teaching winery, while learning the ins and outs of wine making at the college and the programs available for those wanting to become a part of the wine industry.

Jose Licano, a student in the wine program at Yakima Valley Community College, said those visiting the teaching winery were given a first-hand look at the equipment used in wine making. A tour of the facility, he said, also offered those at the event the opportunity to taste and smell different varieties of wine produced by students.

"They were able to smell the different wood notes...the same wine stored in a barrel of American oak can taste different than one stored in French oak," he shared.

Licano provided visitors participating in the "Teach, Tour and Taste" event a tour of the winery's lab, as well. During the tour, a red wine was on display that had been stored in two barrels - made of the same type of wood, but fired at different temperatures. One glass of the wine had a smokier note than the other.

The tour also allowed visitors to see how labels are placed on wine bottles before concluding in the wine tasting room.

"The focus of the event was to promote the tasting room," said Licano. "We provide an inside look at how wine is made from the time the grapes arrive at the winery to the point in which it is poured into the glass."

The teaching winery is one of only two in the area. Walla Walla Community College has the other teaching winery, according to YVCC business administration program chair Carol Schneider.

She said the students hosting last night's event are learning the programs via the college's distance education programs. There are seven students from the Grandview campus and four from the Yakima campus were responsible for the Wednesday night "Teach, Tour and Taste" event.

They are all in YVCC's wine marketing class and Schneider said it is important for the students to learn how to attract the public to a winery and its products.

"They will need these skills in their prospective careers," she noted.

Another aspect of the course the students will be participating in is a white wine blind tasting tomorrow (Friday). The students will be blindfolded and will be challenged to differentiate different notes of wines simply by using their sensory skills of taste and smell.

Because of the success of last night's event, Schneider said the hope is that the college might be able to host more events like it.

The students were responsible for every aspect of the event from planning and promoting to hosting the event.

Informing the public about wines and the tasting room, said Licano, provides the students hands-on experience unlike sitting in a classroom.

The tasting room at YVCC is home to two incubator wineries and is open Fridays from 3:30 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Other events planned at the tasting room include Spring Barrel tasting and a winemaker's dinner with a silent auction to benefit student scholarships.

For more information about the events, visit www.yakimavintners.com.

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