In 2016 Cuyamaca College and the San Diego County Vintners Association, with the assistance of the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards, formed the SDVTAP to offer apprenticeships to students who will help fill the skills gap at area vineyards, wineries, and tasting rooms. Through a grant from the Chancellors Office, generous donations and assistance from San Diego wineries, and countless volunteer hours from apprentices, students, and staff, we were able to install a vineyard on campus.
In 2019 SDVTAP partnered with a new LEA, San Diego City College and their amazing Sustainable Agriculture Program.
2021 brought expansion in all areas. The SDVTAP became VETAP, Viticulture and Enology Technician Program. No longer just San Diego as we have moved into Riverside County. The Enology pathway was added when the program split into two distinct occupations, one dedicated to Viticulture, the other solely to Enology. There are now two Community College Partners, MiraCosta in San Diego and Mt. San Jacinto in Riverside. Both have existing Viticulture and Enology programs.
A Harvest Pre-Apprenticeship Program was created to help address the seasonal staffing needs of vineyard owners in San Diego and Riverside, at the same time providing an immersive experience for those who may be interested in becoming Viticulture Technician Apprentices before making the commitment to enroll in the two-year program.