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Contact: Ann Hatch

For immediate release — Aug. 1, 2013

(DALLAS) — Vines and wines. It’s all about growing the grapes. Or maybe it’s enology — making the wine. Either way, a delicious glass of wine depends on an excellent crop of grapes and a process that creates one of the most popular drinks in the world.

“Vines and Wines” also is the name of a new credit course at El Centro College that will take students around the world (from their seats and online) to vineyards and wineries from almost every continent. They will learn how to identify types of wine grapes, wine-growing regions and wine varieties that the wine grapes produce. They also will discuss the history of wine production, explain storage procedures for different types of wines and learn to recognize equipment and proper serving techniques.

“The course is a study of the growing regions, production, processing and distribution of domestic and international wines,” explained Gus Katsigris, emeritus professor of food and hospitality at El Centro College, who will teach the course.

He added, “We also will host guest speakers — wine merchants and wine makers — who will present wines from each region we cover, using sensory evaluations. Producers, wholesalers and retailers of wines, as well as wine writers, will share their expertise and products with our students, who will learn first-hand from them about the industry.”

Katsigris, who has taught this type of course since the late 1990s at both El Centro and the University of North Texas (until 2010), also is writing the textbook for this class. He is providing the textbook free to all students enrolled in the course and is using it for a field test during the fall semester. He plans to combine classroom sensory evaluations (tastings) and guest presentations during each class in addition to online coursework.

The three-credit-hour, college-level course is $156 and will be offered during the fall 2013 semester (Aug. 29 to Dec. 12) every Thursday evening from 7 to 8:50 p.m. in room C-160 at the downtown campus of El Centro College, located at Main and Lamar streets in Dallas. Interested students must be enrolled at one of the seven colleges of the Dallas County Community College District to take this credit course (RSTO 1319). An outside class project also is required.

The continuing education course also is $156; interested individuals do not have to be DCCCD students to enroll. For registration information as a CE course, call the El Centro College office of continuing education at (214) 860-2226.

Students who sign up for the course must be 21 years of age by the first day of class, in compliance with state law, and proof of age will be kept on file for the course.

Enrollment for fall 2013 semester credit courses — including the “Viticulture and Enology” class (RSTO 1319) — is under way; the deadline to register is Wednesday, Aug. 21.

From wine to champagne, students will taste and learn about wines from regions of the world that include the United States (regional, Pacific Northwest, California and Texas); France (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Alsace, Loire, Provence, Languedoc-Roussillon) — both wine and champagne; Italy (Piedmont, Tuscany); Germany and the Iberian Peninsula; South America and Mexico; and Australia and New Zealand.

Katsigris is excited to offer this class, which is an opportunity for students to learn more about viticulture and enology — growing grapes and making wine. He commented that the classes, guest presentations, sensory evaluations and coursework will help students learn new skills.

He added, “When students finish this course, they will be familiar with the processes of how wines are evaluated by taste. They will be able to read and understand labels from wines around the world, and they also will understand how wines should be stored — along with inventory techniques associated with storage. In addition to learning the techniques and methods used by wine professionals to present and serve wine at the table (using the proper wine glasses and table settings), they will do it themselves in ‘mise en place’ activities.

“Finally, they will have fun and enjoy this course, which will take them around the world as they learn about wine,” said Katsigris.

For more information, contact Katsigris at

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