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Wed, June 26

Yavapai College seeks volunteers to plant vineyard

Yavapai College and Yavapai College Foundation seek volunteers to help plant a vineyard at the college's Verde Valley campus and donors to help grow the Southwest Wine Center at Yavapai College.

Groups, businesses and community members are sought to help plant the inaugural 3,000 grape vines on three acres of the campus in Clarkdale on Saturday, May 5 to support the new Viticulture and Enology program at Yavapai College, said Melissa Hodgdon, spokeswoman for Yavapai College.

Volunteers can learn more about the event at the web site www.yc.edu/plantavine and register for their one hour block of planting time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. by reaching Linda Clark at 928-634-6572 or Linda.Clark@yc.edu.

Volunteers will receive 30 minutes of on-site training to learn about planting grapes before entering the vineyard, the blessing of the vines will be at 11 a.m., and 25 volunteers are needed for each one-hour block of time. The Verde Valley campus is located at 601 Black Hills Drive in Clarkdale.

Yavapai College currently offers a certificate in Viticulture (grape growing) and will offer an associates degree in Viticulture and Enology (wine making) beginning this fall, Hodgdon said.  

As part of this program, the college plans to plant three acres of vines this year and eventually expand the vineyard to 20 acres, Hodgdon said.  

The Yavapai College Foundation has also embarked on a $3 million campaign to build the Southwest Wine Center at Yavapai College, which will serve as a hub of education, research and rural economic development activity to support the Southwest region's viticulture industry growth to become a significant U.S. wine producing region, Hodgdon said.  

The center will include academic programs, a student-run vineyard, a full production teaching winery, and a knowledge gateway and repository, Hodgdon said.

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