Kent State Ashtabula Announces New Wine Label and Partnership with Laurello Vineyards for Blended Learning Experience for Students
Students in the Viticulture and Enology programs will participate in wine making from start to finish.
Kent State University at Ashtabula is partnering with Laurello Vineyards to expand the educational opportunities for students in its wine degree programs, crafting a distinctive experience in which students participate in all aspects of grape-growing and wine-making. The unique, blended learning culminates in the production of a new “Kent State Ashtabula” labeled wine. The first two wines, a Riesling and a Cabernet blend, will be released in December 2017.
Under the new agreement, students will actively learn in the vineyards owned and operated by Laurello’s and in the cellar at Laurello’s Harpersfield Township winery. They will do so under the guidance and direction of Ed Trebets, an award-winning winemaker who serves as director of the wine degree programs at Kent State Ashtabula.
“This is an exciting partnership for our students, for two main reasons,” said Susan J. Stocker, Ph.D., Dean and Chief Administrative Office at Kent State Ashtabula. “Most importantly, it helps us provide an atmosphere of a teaching winery where our students can learn and share. We are grateful to Kim and Larry and for generously opening their doors to our students.”
“And secondly, it will be rewarding for students to see the finished product, a Kent State Ashtabula labeled wine, on store shelves, in people’s homes and on tables across the region.”
The first two wines - Sunburst, a Grand River Riesling, and Sunset, a vinifera blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc – will be available for purchase through Laurello’s.
“We at Laurello’s are honored to share our boutique winery and hands-on learning atmosphere,” said Kim and Larry Laurello, Jr., owners of Laurello Vineyards. “With any type of education, we feel a smaller venue is a real gem for learning. This unique relationship will allow students to engage and learn the journey from the vineyard to the bottle.”
Kent State Ashtabula offers the only wine degree programs in the state of Ohio, providing students the opportunity to earn degrees in viticulture, grape growing, and enology, wine making. The hybrid study program combines online courses with in-person experience in state-of-the-art laboratories, vineyards and wineries.
“Our program is what the wine industry needs due to the rapid growth in the past 10 years,” said Trebets. “Our industry will need skilled workers in the winery and the vineyard as it continues to grow and more entrepreneurs want to join the industry.”
For more information about the Kent State Ashtabula brand of wines, or the viticulture and enology programs, visit www.kent.edu/ashtabula/wine.
About Kent State University at Ashtabula
Home Ohio’s only wine degree program and Ashtabula County’s only accredited registered nursing degree program, Kent State University at Ashtabula provides a variety of high quality areas of study. Located on the beautiful shores of Lake Erie, the northernmost campus in the Kent State system offers bachelor’s and associate programs for 2,000 students in an advanced, modern environment, conveniently located between Cleveland, Erie and Youngstown.
About Laurello’s Vineyard
Laurello Vineyards is a small boutique winery nestled in the Grand River Valley in Geneva, Ohio. The winery was established in 2002 by Larry & Kim Laurello and operates and maintains 10 acres of estate grown vineyards, producing wines that reflect the uniqueness of the Grand River Valley and Lake Erie region.