The Fresno State Winery has obtained a state license to make the Farm Market its official wine tasting room on campus with an inaugural holiday wine tasting from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20.

Tastings featuring different wine varieties will follow from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22 at the Farm Market, on the southeast corner of Chestnut and Barstow avenues.

The inaugural wine tastings, hosted by Farm Market student employees and staff and students from the Department of Viticulture and Enology, will feature nine award-winning wines that blend well with holiday meals.

Thursday will focus on the 2006 San Joaquin County Chardonnay, 2004 San Joaquin County Cabernet Sauvignon and 2004 California Syrah.

At Friday’s tasting, three Fresno State San Joaquin County appellation wines from 2005 will be featured: Sangiovese, Viognier and Merlot.

On Saturday, Fresno State’s 2003 San Joaquin County Petite Sirah, 2006 Fresno County Muscat Canelli and 2006 San Joaquin County Barbera will be sampled.

Also on Saturday, Culinology® students led by Klaus Tenbergen, a professor in the Food Science and Nutrition Department of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, will conduct cooking demonstrations of foods that go well with these wines.

The wine tasting project provides several educational benefits, said Dr. Ganesan Srinivasan, director of the university’s farm operations.

“It offers customers an opportunity to learn about our award-winning wines while offering a training opportunity for our enology students and Farm Market student employees on how to organize and conduct a wine tasting, interact with customers and explain the qualities of each varietal being poured,” Srinivasan said.

Jessup Wiley, wine marketing manager, said the winery and Farm Market are planning to hold weekly wine tastings beginning in February.

The cost for this week’s holiday wine tasting is $5 per person which includes a commemorative Fresno State Winery glass and three 2-ounce tastings of the featured wines. The customer may also use the wine glass for a $1 discount on future Farm Market wine tastings.

Faculty, students, wine club members and alumni will be eligible for volume discounts up to 20 percent on wine purchases.

“Wine Tasting 101,” an informational piece by winemaster Ken Fugelsang and Wiley, also will be available.

The new license is a Duplicate 02 License, duplicate to the Fresno State Winery’s Type 02 Winegrower’s License. Both are issued by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to the Agricultural Foundation of California State University, Fresno, which is the license holder for the university winery. The duplicate license permits the winery to hold tastings at the winery or at the Farm Market, said John Melikian, attorney for the Agricultural Foundation.

Despite road construction on Chestnut Avenue, the Farm Market remains open and has accessible parking, Srinivasan said. The market will be closed Dec. 23 through Jan. 1.

For more information: 559.278.4511 or