By Molly • Molly Walker • 

Chemeketa renames vitaculture center

The college’s viticulture program encompasses three degree tracks: vineyard management, winemaking and the wine business. Many who work in Yamhill Valley vineyards have taken courses at the facility, which offers hands-on training through its own Eola Hills vineyard.

Hors d’oeuvres and wine samples were offered during the open house.

Jack Czarnecki of Joel Palmer House in Dayton offered a sample of his Oregon White Truffle Oil, served on risotto, and tastes of his line of Czar’s sauces, made with Oregon pinot noir. Also featured at the event were Dayton’s Oregon Olive Mill and Durant Vineyards, Gaston’s WildAire Cellars and Dundee’s Duck Pond Cellars.

Roberts said the anniversary gave the college a chance to highlight its faith in the ability of an institute of higher education to respond to the needs of a developing industry in a timely fashion. She said that’s what led to development of the center and accompanying vineyard, which wine country pioneers Dick Erath and David Lett helped site.

Liz Kelly-Campanale, a former student now serving as tasting room manager at St. Innocent, also in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, said the program ensures every student receives an excellent education and is tightly connected with the industry. She said her goal is to eventually become a winemaker and the program put her on track.

“I’m fortunate I can build a career on something I feel so passionate about,” she said.

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