Grapes for Grads: Opportunities Abound at CIA's New Copia Campus

By Lisa Elbert


Lisa Elbert
The CIA Has Expanded its Programs for Food and Beverage Professionals at the New Copia Campus.
The CIA Has Expanded its Programs for Food and Beverage Professionals at the New Copia Campus.

The Culinary Institute of America has expanded its programs for food and beverage professionals, as well as enthusiasts, at a new West Coast campus. Copia in Napa Valley will open fall 2016 on the former Robert Mondavi Estate. Among the offerings is an edifying way for the juice nerds of the world to challenge themselves: The Wine & Beverage Graduate Certificate is an innovative eight month, two semester program with five intensive classes per semester. “I’m particularly excited about the Viticulture and Viniculture class,” says Professor of Wine & Beverage Studies Robert Bath, MS. “Being here in the Napa Valley, we’re very fortunate to be in the ‘epicenter’ of California fine wine. There is so much available to us in terms of field trips and industry experts that our biggest challenge has been narrowing the list down.” We assumed the role of post-grad  professional to ask Bath what those enrolled will gain from the experience, how the certificate pertains to The Court, and if you should quit your day job.

For working professionals, how flexible is the schedule? Is it a full-time program? Yes, this is a full-time program. Classes are during the day, but as with the CIA’s other certificate programs, some students work part time jobs in the evening.

What are the course offerings? Viticulture and Viniculture; Wines of the Old World: Southern and Eastern Europe; Wines of the Old World: Northern Europe; Wines of the New World: Northern Hemisphere; Wines of the New World: Southern Hemisphere, Asia and the Levant; Fermented and Non Alcoholic Beverages; Historical and Cultural Perspectives in Food and Drink; Global Wine Business Operations; Advanced Beverage Management; and Distilled Spirits and Principles of Mixology.

Who are some of your instructors? Myself, Christie Dufault, Geralyn Brostrom, and Beth Forrest.

I’m passionate about small-vineyards in Israel. What kind of deep-dive curriculum is available for me?  Our focus is not only presenting, but also discussing in depth and up-to-date material on all of the key wine regions in the world.

Will this help prepare me for Court of Master Sommelier certificates? Or is the program designed as an alternative? This program is an ideal background for all of the major certificate programs, including the Master Sommelier, Master of Wine, and Certified Wine Educator programs.

Eat: An adventurous restaurant highlighting the Napa Valley bounty
Shop: The CIA’s new home and culinary lifestyle store offers quality essentials.
Not-so-secret Gardens: The Copia gardens grow everything from citrus to olives.
Learn: Take a “Garden-to-Glass” mixology class or learn more about making fermented foods in the CIA’s Food Forum.
Drink: Take a stroll through the wine tasting stations in the atrium or take it to the next level with a cult wine tasting in the restaurant’s lounge. 
Networking: The CIA will be launching several lecture series focusing on food, beverage, hospitality, and wellness, with powerful names in the industry making an appearance in the next year.
Bright Lights, Big City: Napa’s vibrant downtown community is bustling with restaurants, theaters, and plenty of outdoor activities.
Invite-only: Copia is an ideal venue for a company retreat or social event, team building exercise, or employee appreciation event. 
Not Your Mother’s Kitchen: Opening in late summer 2017, the CIA’s interactive teaching kitchens will be home to hands-on cooking courses for the beginner, intermediate, and experienced cook.
The Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum: Opening in the Spring 2017, the Museum will feature a wide-ranging collection of culinary treasures, representing a rich heritage from around the world dating back to the 18th century.

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