Viticulture Center Expands

By Yvette Saarinen

On March 9, Chemeketa Community College broke ground on expansion of the Eola facilities that house the school’s Northwest Viticulture Center.

According to the center’s director, Craig Anderson, the $1.4 million project is being funded by out-of-state stimulus funds, supplemented by a $165,000 grant from the Erath Foundation.

Anderson said an existing building is being renovated and a new one is being erected. He said the project will provide new laboratory, classroom and office space, along with a new library.

“These enhancements will improve the effectiveness of our teaching and result in more complete training of future winemakers,” he said.

The center—located at 215 Doaks Ferry Road N.W. in West Salem—hopes to complete its expansion in time for fall classes.

The Northwest Viticulture Center houses Chemeketa’s Vineyard Management and Winemaking Program. It has quickly become the largest supplier of trained industry workers in Oregon.

The program offers instruction in all aspects of viticulture and enology, from growing the grapes to selling the wine. The center maintains strong alliances with the Northwest wine industry, associated educational institutions and the larger community, Anderson said.

Chemeketa’s center also is a commercially licensed and bonded winery with its own label. It has wine available for sale. For more information, visit

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