Highland Community College began offering Associate of Science and Technical Certificate programs available in both Viticulture and Enology in Fall 2010. Students are encouraged to enroll in face to face courses taught at the HCC-Wamego Campus, generally meeting one Saturday per month. If class schedules do not work for students then they have the opportunity to enroll in online courses through the Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA) program. VESTA allows students in Kansas to take viticulture and enology classes online from colleges and universities across the US while paying in-state tuition rates. The classes transfer fluidly between the VESTA partners, and they all apply toward the degree and certificate programs.  For more information, contact HCC V&E Program Director, Scott Kohl.

Please scroll down to see information about HCC wines.

In March 2017, Mr. Matthew (Matt) Kahl joined the program to teach Enology classes and manage the winery at HCC. Matt came to us from New Mexico where he was the winemaker at two different wineries over the past ten years, making over 150,000 cases of wine per year in his final position before coming to HCC.  In Spring 2018, Mrs. Candice Fitch-Deitz joined HCC.  Formerly a member of the VESTA team in Illinois, Candice was most recently an Horticulture agent with KSU-Research and Extension in western Kansas.  Mr. Scott Kohl has been the administrator and director of the HCC Viticulture and Enology program since its inception in 2008.  While Mr. Kohl, Mr. Kahl, and Mrs. Fitch-Deitz have varying ranges of duties, they boast over 35 years of combined industry experience, and the three collaborate in all areas of the HCC V&E Program.

HCC has four vineyards, three of which are in and around the Wamego area:  HCC Oregon Trail Vineyard (850 vines) was planted in Spring 2009  The first harvest was in 2012.  The HCC Research Vineyard (528 vines, 44 varieties) was planted in Spring 2013.  In Fall 2013, HCC was awarded a National Science Foundation - Advanced Technology Education project grant.  The grant funded an expansion of HCC's vineyards as well as equipment purchases to teach students about commercial and mechanized scale vineyard management.  Most of the vineyard expansion is at HCC Military Trail Vineyard, located just across US HWY 24 from the HCC-Wamego Center, and a small portion of the expansion is directly south of the Research Vineyard.  Finally, HCC has planted vines on the Klinefelter Farm in Brown County near Hiawatha, KS.  Here's a link to the HCC Klinefelter Farm.   All total, HCC now has just over 5200 vines in the four vineyards.  Here is a short video demonstrating the vine planter HCC used in the 2014 to plant the HCC Military trail Vineyard.  

While HCC and VESTA both encourage students to complete degree and/or certificate programs, we recognize that entrepreneurial minded students want a head start on opening their own business. While the full program of courses contains a wealth of knowledge, we welcome the student interested in just one or two courses prior to planting vines or making wine.

We look forward to serving the Kansas grape and wine industry through our continued partnerships with Kansas State University Research and ExtensionKansas Department of Agriculture, and VESTA.

Read about the most recent happenings at the HCC Research Vineyard at and visit our Facebook page at


Please scroll down to see the list of courses and workshops offered this year.


Highland Community College Winery

In January 2014, HCC won Best in Show for wines entered at the Kansas grape and wine conference.  Highland Community College Winery has wines currently for sale through special events statewide.  Call or email Scott Kohl at 785-456-6006 to make an appointment to tour the winery and find the next available location to purchase HCC wines.

HCC has four wines in production now.  Two are made from a grape called chambourcin, a French-bred hybrid of the Seyve-Villard and Chancellor grapes, first commercialized in 1963 France.  As described in the book, "Wine Grapes," Chambourcin wines are "full-flavoured and aromatic and do not have the intrusive flavours sometimes associated with hybrids."  The Chambourcin grape is currently the most planted variety of grapes in Kansas.  HCC's Chambourcin Reserve is a dry red wine made with grapes grown at HCC's vineyards and is a deeply colored variety with full aromatic flavors of cherries and blueberries allowing it to pair will with barbecue, pork, and all grilled dishes.  Chambourcin Reserve is $18 per bottle.

HCC also produces a semi-sweet red wine called Chambourcin  It has many same characteristics as the Reserve except with a touch of sweetness.  Chambourcin is $16 per bottle.

HCC produces a semi-sweet white wine called Traminette.  The Traminette grape is a hybrid of the Joannes Seyve and Gewurtztraminer grapes, created in 1965 at University of Illinois.  After breeding at Cornell University in New York, Traminette was released for public use in 1996.  According to the book "Wine Grapes," Traminete wines have, "good body and balance and taste like a vinifera wine."  According the the winemaker, the HCC Traminette is distinctly spicy and fragrant like its Gewurztraminer parent, has excellent balance, flavor and drinkability.  Traminette is $16 per bottle.

HCC released a new wine called  Dessert Wine in Fall 2015.  Using Norton grapes grown by a local vineyard.  As with most dessert-style or port-style wines, Dessert Wine is higher than usual in both sugar and alcohol content as well as being packaged in a smaller bottle.  The HCC Dessert Wine has around 20% alcohol content, and is contained in a 375 ml (half-size) bottle.  Dessert Wine is $22 per bottle.

HCC's wines are available for purchase at special events statewide, and winery tours are available by appointment at the HCC-Wamego campus.  Call or email Scott Kohl at 785-456-6006 to make an appointment .


                               Enology Links                                                   Viticulture Links

                           Course Descriptions                                          Course Descriptions

                    Associate of Science Degree                            Associate of Science Degree

                           Certificate Program                                             Certificate Program



External Links

HCC V&E Facebook Page

Viticulture and Enology Science Technology Alliance (VESTA)

Kansas Grape Growers and Winemakers Association (KGGWA)

Kansas Viticulture and Farm Winery Association (KVFWA)

US Treasury – Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)

KS Department of Revenue – Alcoholic Beverage Control (KS ABC)

KS Department of Agriculture - Sensitive Crop Map and Registry

KS Department of Agriculture - Sensitive Crop Signs available for purchase



HCC V&E Course Schedule

  • Spring 2018:

    • VIN111 Intro to Viticulture (Sat, 9a-6p); Dates: 3/3, 3/17, 4/7, 4/21, 5/5                                       Instr: Candice Fitch-Deitz

    • ENO116 Introduction to Enology (Sat, 9a-6p); Dates: 1/13, 1/27, 2/3, 2/17, 2/24
       Instr: Matt Kahl

    • ENO148 Winery Sanitation (Sat, 9a-6p); Dates: 3/3, 3/17, 4/7, 4/21, 5/5                                 Instr: Matt Kahl

  • Summer 2018:

    • TBA                                                                                                       Instr: 

  • Fall 2018:

    • VIN211 Integrated Pest Mgt (Sat, 9a-5p); 10/20, 11/3, 12/1, 12/8;                                                                              Instr: Candice Fitch-Deitz

    • VIN215 Summer/Fall Viticulture Tech (Sat, 9a-6p); 8/25, 9/8, 9/22, 10/6                                                                 Instr: Candice Fitch-Deitz

    • ENO116 Intro to Enology (Sat, 9a-6p); 8/18, 8/25, 9/15, 9/22, 10/6;                                                                              Instr: Matthew Kahl

    • ENO210 Intro to Wine Microorgamisms (Sat, 9a-6p); 10/27, 11/3, 12/1, 12/8;                                                        Instr: Matthew Kahl


  • 2018 HCC Workshop Schedule

  • Mar 3 - Winter Pruning Workshop (in collaboration with KGGWA) Vineland de la Cairns, 9am

  • Apr 9 - Hybrid Workshop at HCC-Wamego, 1-5pm




  • Consultation for vineyards, wineries, and perspective members of the industry

  • Industry workshops throughout the year

  • Highland Community College Winery has wine available for sale.  Call for an appointment, 785-456-6006.