Associate of Applied Science in Winery Technology
José Licano started at YVCC as a running start student from Grandview High School. After graduation he relocated to California, and began working at a Ford dealership. Then in 2005 Licano returned to the Yakima Valley at the request of his mother to help care for his family.
With the encouragement of his sisters, one of which is YVCC Alumna Carolina Warwick, José decided to return to school and enrolled in YVCC’s Vineyard and Winery Technology Program in the winter of 2010. “My favorite part of YVCC’s program is all the hands-on experience. The classes are not confined to a small four-walled room. I love that we get to follow the process from grapes growing on the vine all the way to the bottle,” stated Licano.
While in the program, Licano learned of an internship opportunity with Hogue Cellars, and was hired to fill the position. Following his internship, he was hired to work with the company. He stayed with them until April 2012. He spent the summer traveling and now is back in the Valley. Currently José is working at Kestrel Vintners in their tasting room and assists with other operations of the winery, including bottling. In January he will enroll in classes to fulfill the remaining requirements of his degree and will graduate in the spring of 2013.
“I like the youth of Washington’s Wine Industry. I like that we are still experimenting and finding our own style of wine making. We aren’t stuck in any old ways, like some other more established markets,” he concluded.
Licano plans to continue working in the wine industry as an assistant or head winemaker and hopes to start his own label.
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