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CAL POLY WINE AND VITICULTURE DEPARTMENT | COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES | FALL 2017

MOMENTUM

BUILDS


DEPARTMENT HEAD’S MESSAGE

The Perfect Blend OUR HYBRID ROOTS AND INDUSTRY’S SUPPORT ENRICH THIS UNIQUE PROGRAM IN THE 1980s, courses in viticulture, wine making and wine business were offered through various Cal Poly departments such as Horticulture and Crop Science, Food Science and Nutrition, and Agribusiness. In 1999, Cal Poly offered its first minor in wine and viticulture. The curriculum’s popularity soared, and wine and viticulture became an undergraduate major in 2004. The mix of different profiles coming from different departments enriched the program, and among them we should thank: (1) Professor Emeritus Paul Fountain, who taught viticulture and supported our department to replant the Trestle Vineyard

Benoît Lecat |

PHOTO BY JAY THOMPSON

this spring, (2) Professor Bob Noyes (deceased), who was instrumental in bringing enology to Cal Poly with sensory

and Auction, raising more than $40,000 to equip the Transitional

analysis, (3) Professor Keith Patterson (deceased), who played

Grape and Wine Chemistry Lab. The 2016 effort raised more than

an integral role in the early formation of the program, and (4)

$10,000 for the Keith Patterson Memorial fund to support hands-

professors emeriti Phil Doub (deceased) and Bill Amspacher for

on viticulture learning for students.

the program’s business dimensions. Since 2016, our team’s main focus has been on the fundraising In 2011, wine and viticulture became an official program, and in

effort to support the Center for Wine and Viticulture. We traveled

2013, a department. This success would not have been possible

throughout California to present the project under the leadership

without the tremendous support of local industry partners such as

of renowned wine entrepreneur Jerry Lohr and Andrew Thulin,

Ken Volk, who contributed to the creation of the pilot winery, and

dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental

the Niven family, who helped us produce our commercial wines

Sciences. I am proud to say that we are two-thirds of the way to

for many years, among others.

the $15 million goal and will continue until we reach it.

In 2015, I arrived as department head. The successes that I have

In 2017, our pilot winery was bonded/permitted, thanks to the

since seen unfold have been many, with the department working

support of Rachel Dumas Rey from Compli. In 2018, faculty

as a team to address any challenges while building the program,

members will travel with 35 students in Europe to compare and

running the pilot winery and the commercial wine program, and

contrast best practices between the U.S. and French, German,

improving curriculum to enhance the Learn by Doing experiences

Luxembourg, Swiss and Italian wine markets.

of our students and prepare them for current industry demands. Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the The Trestle Vineyard has been replanted. The teacher/scholar

industry leaders, Cal Poly alumni, students and parents for their

model, where applied research through senior projects is linked

various support of all our department activities. We could not do

to classes, resulted in one of our undergraduates, Paul Mawdsley,

it without your support. Everything is essential ­— scholarships,

winning the Best Student Presentation Award in enology at

grape donations, equipment, time, chemicals and barrels — to

the American Society of Enology and Viticulture Conference.

make our Center for Wine and Viticulture a success.

Professor Federico Casassa won the prestigious Best Enology Paper Award from the American Journal of Enology and

Viticulture. To further support these research efforts, we held our second annual “call to cause” during the 2017 Winemaker Dinner

2 CAL POLY WINE AND VITICULTURE DEPARTMENT | FALL 2017

BENOÎT LECAT | DEPARTMENT HEAD | PH.D., DIPWSET


Inside 4 EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

ON THE COVER

6 STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

Thanks to many generous friends, our dream of building a Center for Wine and Viticulture is closer to reality. Get a project update on pages 12-13, and see related articles about two of our industry partners on pages 14-15.

6 LEARN BY DOING 10 FACILITIES UPDATE 12 COVER STORY 14 INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIPS 18 ALUMNI PROFILE 19 VINEYARD UPDATE 20 FACULTY NEWS 22 THANK YOU, DONORS

BELOW In June, as the sun set on their days at Cal Poly, members of wine and viticulture’s 2017 graduating class gathered for their Senior Banquet, toasting to their achievement at Dark Star Cellars in Paso Robles. COURTESY CARRIE SOUTH

VINES TO WINES Your content suggestions and contributions are welcome. Please contact Carrie South at 805-756-7308 or psouth@calpoly.edu. Writer: Jo Ann Lloyd Designer: Shirley Howell Printer: Central Coast Printing

WVIT.CALPOLY.EDU | CAL POLY 3


EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

See You There ... CATCH WINE AND VITICULTURE FOLKS — AND TASTE CAL POLY WINES

2017 NOVEMBER 2-5 Cal Poly Homecoming 3-5 SLO Wine Country’s Harvest on the Coast Weekend slowine.com 10-12 Garagiste Wine Festival, Paso Robles, California californiagaragistes.com 13-14 Vineyard Team’s Sustainable Ag Expo DECEMBER 9 Cal Poly Fall Commencement commencement.calpoly.edu/fall-commencement-ceremonies

2018 JANUARY 18-19 Cal Poly Ag Showcase agb.calpoly.edu/current/agshowcase 23-25 Unified Tradeshow, Sacramento, California Visit us at booth 1239! 24 Alumni Reception at Vines Café, Hyatt Regency, Sacramento, California | unifiedsymposium.org MARCH 2-3 World of Pinot Noir | worldofpinotnoir.com 9 2018 Cal Poly Winemaker Showcase — Oyster Ridge at Santa Margarita, California, featuring five alumni winemakers and Chef Ian McPhee (see opposite page) 16-18 Vintage Paso Robles — Zinfandel Weekend pasowine.com/events 21

Central Coast Insights | centralcoastinsights.com

21 WiVi Central Coast | wivicentralcoast.com TBD The International Chardonnay Symposium thechardonnaysymposium.com APRIL 12-14 Cal Poly Open House 26-28 Hospice du Rhône | hospicedurhone.org MAY 17-20 Paso Robles Wine Festival | pasowine.com/events JUNE 15-17 Spring Commencement 18-21 American Society for Enology and Viticulture Conference asev.org

4 CAL POLY WINE AND VITICULTURE DEPARTMENT | FALL 2017


Left: Senior Josh Gonzalez delivers plates of sliders. Far left: Colette Rausch bids on an auction item.

Wine, Dine and Bid! WINEMAKER DINNER AND AUCTION RAISED $43,000 WITH ‘CALL TO CAUSE’ THE WINE AND VITICULTURE Department, in support of its Vines to Wines student club, hosted its 22nd annual Winemaker Dinner and Auction last February at Broken Earth Winery in Paso Robles, California. A gourmet five-course dinner was served along with wines crafted by Cal Poly alumni and supporters of wine education. The featured alumni winemakers were Chris Cameron of Broken Earth Winery and Nathan Carlson of Center of Effort. Jerry Lohr of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines was the honored guest. A special “call to cause” raised $43,000 to help equip the Transitional Grape and Wine Chemistry Lab. (See article, Page 10.) Next year’s event, renamed the 2018 Cal Poly Winemaker Showcase, is set for March 9 at Oyster Ridge in Santa Margarita, California. It will be catered by renowned Chef Ian McPhee and showcase the wines of five alumni: Clarissa Nagy of Riverbench Vineyard & Winery; Kristin Bryden of Zaca Mesa Winery & Vineyards; Molly Bohlman of Niner Wine Estates; Mike Sinor of Ancient Peaks Winery; and Karl Wicka of Turley Wine Cellars. Proceeds will fund student travel expenses to academic and trade conferences, host industry speakers and fund scholarships for students to attend the Cal Poly Global Program: European Wine Tour — Summer 2018 at a reduced fee. For details, please call 805-756-7308. n

Above: Student volunteers tend bar and keep the ice bucket brimming. Left: Auction action stirs the interest of Doug Burkett (foreground) and alumnus Chip Forsythe (‘13). PHOTOS BY CORRYN HAYNES (SENIOR ART MAJOR)

WVIT.CALPOLY.EDU | CAL POLY 5


STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

Changing Course RESEARCH INSPIRED GRADUATE STUDENT PAUL MAWDSLEY’S PLANS WHEN PAUL MAWDSLEY (Wine and

conference. “It was intense, but a lot of

Viticulture, ’16) was an undergraduate, he

fun,” he said.

knew he wanted to make wine. “I had no

After graduation, Mawdsley spent a

“Their connections to industry are attracting research opportunities to the department,” said Mawdsley, now in the

season working at Craggy Range winery

second year of a three-year study looking at

in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, before

cluster thinning and various winemaking

research full time in a lab. The research he

returning to Cal Poly to work on his

techniques in cooperation with Chamisal

did as an undergraduate literally upended

master ’s degree in agriculture with a

Vineyards in the Edna Valley. (See related

his long-held career goals and changed the

specialization in horticulture and

article, Page 16.)

trajectory of his life.

crop science.

interest sitting in a lab all day,” he said. Today Mawdsley is conducting

It also brought him recognition as the

He credits Wine and Viticulture

“I’m looking at the effects that three different viticulture and winemaking

winner of the prestigious Best Student

Department assistant professors Jean

treatments have on cool climate Pinot

Presentation Award in the enology (flash

Dodson Peterson and Federico Casassa

noir,” he explained. “We are removing half

talk) category at the 2017 American

for his decision to continue his studies

the clusters at different times during the

Society of Enology and Viticulture annual

and his research.

growing season and examining the effects the applications have on the chemical and sensory characteristics of the final product.” Mawdsley is also running two winemaking experiments. In one, he is using the whole cluster of the grape and leaving berries on the stem as opposed to destemming them, which is common practice with Pinot noir. “In the second, we’re removing the stems, drying them, then adding them back into the wine.” Mawdsley thinks research is great for undergraduates. “It forces people to develop critical thinking skills,” he said. “It’s intellectually stimulating and challenging. It’s another way to get your hands dirty. “I came to Cal Poly because I did not want to do research,” he continued. “Instead I discovered something I didn’t know I’d like. It changed the course of my life pretty substantially.” n

Paul Mawdsley (left) credits assistant professors Federico Casassa (shown) and Jean Dodson Peterson for his decision to continue his studies and research as a graudate student.

6 CAL POLY WINE AND VITICULTURE DEPARTMENT | FALL 2017


Rewarding Hard Work WINE AND VITICULTURE STUDENTS SCORE WITH SCHOLARSHIPS CONGRATULATIONS TO THE STUDENTS who were awarded scholarships this academic year and last year by the department and the college. Department Head Benoît Lecat thanks the individuals and organizations that made these scholarships possible. 2016-17 SCHOLARSHIPS AND RECIPIENTS

Cheers! JUNE 2017 GRADUATES CELEBRATE

American Vineyard Viticulture - Megan Coletti and Genevieve Patt Arthur E. Norman - Nicholas Paiva Garagiste Festival - Emily Angel and Christian Rodriguez Jeffrey Newton Scholarship for Viticulture Madison White Joe and Florence Silva Memorial - Robert Huff Murphy Family Foundation - Patricia Williams Orange Co. Wine Society - Sergio Bernal Gutierrez, Madison Jackson, Ellie Loustalot, Bridget MacCallum, Emily Perman and Josey Thompson Tony and Janet Marino - Madeline Rausch Woodward/Graff Wine Foundation - Madison Ward 2017-18 SCHOLARSHIPS AND RECIPIENTS American Vineyard Viticulture - Christian Rodriquez Arthur E. Norman - Hannah Weinburg

Top: Graduate Hayley McIntyre with (from left) brother Mitchell, sister-in-law Katelyn and mom, Debbie. Above: Assistant Professor Federico Casassa with grads Maggie Thompson and Robert Huff. Above, right: Graduates Jordan Stanley (left) and Nicholas Paiva. Right: Graduate Justin Trabue (center) with her mom, Tracy, and Haven Dlott (Biological Sciences, ‘15). PHOTOS BY MAGGIE THOMPSON AND CARRIE SOUTH

Eberle Scholarship - Elizabeth Diekman and Lauren Smith Garagiste Festival - Julia Tan and Josey Thompson Jeffrey Newton Scholarship for Viticulture McKenna Jeffries Joe and Florence Silva Memorial - Madison Garzoli Murphy Family Foundation - Cameron Cordova Niven Memorial Scholarship - Shane McCarthy Orange Co. Wine Society - Emily Bucchianeri, Gabriel Ceja, Juel Hernandez, Robert Huff, Devyn Lopez, Lauren Smith and Nicholas Steele Tony and Janet Marino - Claire Villasenor Wine and Viticulture - Elise Amend, Kira Fores and Taylor Johnson Woodward/Graff Foundation - Patricia Williams

WVIT.CALPOLY.EDU | CAL POLY 7


LEARN BY DOING

A Tale of Two Internships SENIOR THOMAS KAUTH SAMPLES LARGE AND SMALL WINERIES AT FIRST, when wine and viticulture (WVIT) senior Thomas Kauth went in search of an internship in Oregon, no one responded. But then he picked up the phone and quickly landed two internships: one for 20 hours a week at the small family-owned LaVelle Vineyards and another for 40 hours a week at Kings Estate Winery, the largest biodynamic

vineyard in the U.S. and the biggest wine producer in Oregon. His 60 hours a week were usually spent pouring wine, helping with logistics for events and giving tours, but the experiences differed vastly from one winery to the other. LaVelle Vineyards, which occupies 70 acres in the southern Willamette Valley,

offers visitors a more intimate, personal experience that especially appealed to Kauth, who is pursuing the wine business concentration of the WVIT major. The winery produces 3,500 to 4,000 cases a year and its business is approximately 95 percent direct to consumer. “They have a popular wine club with about 1,000 members,” Kauth said. “I really enjoyed my interactions with the people there,” he said. “They came from all over the world, and hearing their stories was great fun. Oregon is one of the states in the U.S. that experienced a total eclipse of the sun on Aug. 21, so people literally from all over made this their destination.” Kings Estate Winery is a destination winery. Its 1,033 acres sit at the tip of the Willamette Valley just southwest of Eugene. There, Kauth spent most of his time behind the bar and giving tours. The bar is located inside the estate’s awardwinning fine dining restaurant, which meant Kauth poured wine for all the winedrinking guests who were dining in the establishment. His decision to “experience life outside the California bubble” was a good one. “I wanted to experience the Willamette Valley,” he said. “I grew up in the Napa/ Sonoma area, and I’m familiar with the San Luis Obispo region. I wanted to get out of California. The Oregon wine scene is exploding. I wanted to experience that.” n

Thomas Kauth did double-duty working as an intern at Kings Estate (left) and LaVelle Vineyards in Oregon. | COURTESY PHOTO

8 CAL POLY WINE AND VITICULTURE DEPARTMENT | FALL 2017


Pilot Lessons

CAMPUS WINERY OFFERS RICH EXPERIENCES FOR STUDENTS

THERE’S PROBABLY NO BETTER example

harvest, crush, ferment, stabilize and bottle

of Learn by Doing than what goes on in

the wine,” Casassa said.

the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture (WVIT)

Working in small groups of up to eight

Above: Visiting student intern Francesca Milani helps senior Juel “JP” Hernandez process fruit for his senior project.

Department’s pilot winery. With daily

people, the students in the winemaking

monitor the wine’s progress as it ages in

oversight provided by former Pomar

series are in charge of making one red and

oak barrels or stainless steel tanks. Basically

Junction winemaker and new Cal Poly

one white varietal per group, using grapes

we’re getting it ready for bottling, which we

lecturer Jim Shumate (see related article,

donated by various wineries throughout San

do in spring.”

Page 21), the pilot winery is where upper-

Luis Obispo County.

division WVIT students learn their craft.

“They learn on the same equipment that

Casassa has had up to six research projects going on at once, and he has

the wineries use but on a smaller scale,”

undergraduates and graduate students

assistant professor of enology and sensory

Shumate said. “The students supervise the

helping him. This year he’s working on

analysis, conducts much of his research —

fermentation and aging process and conduct

a study that involves cluster thinning at

often with the help of students. Many of

analyses on all the grapes and wines.”

Chamisal Vineyards in Edna Valley.

It’s also where Federico Casassa,

those students are working on their senior projects. Casassa is also responsible for overall supervision of the winery.

In the fall, during harvest, the students begin fermenting the grape juice. “After fermentation is complete,

(See related article, Page 16.) Whether conducting research under Casassa or learning how to make wine

Up to 40 students enrolled in the

we officially have wine,” Shumate said.

with Shumate, Cal Poly WVIT students are

400-level Winemaking I, II and III series

“During winter, we go through the wine

gaining the necessary hands-on experience

spend fall, winter and spring quarters

analyses and determine what changes need

that gives them an advantage when it’s time

producing wine from start to finish. “They

to be made. We run different trials and

to enter the workforce. n

WVIT.CALPOLY.EDU | CAL POLY 9


FACILITIES UPDATE

TUCKED INNOCUOUSLY INSIDE the Agricultural Sciences Building on campus sits the recently retrofitted Transitional Grape and Wine Chemistry Lab, a 360-square-foot repurposed room with sophisticated equipment to help Assistant Professor of Enology Federico Casassa carry out wine chemical analyses. Thanks to a “call to cause,” which raised $43,000 at the 22nd annual Vines to Wines Winemaker Dinner and Auction in February 2017, Casassa was able to buy some new lab equipment. “A large portion of the money was used to buy a highpressure liquid chromatograph (HPLC), which will be used to separate and quantify a family of chemical compounds known as phenolics. Phenolics are relevant for wine chemistry and its sensory features as they account for color and mouthfeel,” Casassa explained.

NEW LAB

‘CALL TO CAUSE’ RAISES $43,000 TO EQUIP RESEARCH FACILITY

10 CAL POLY WINE AND VITICULTURE DEPARTMENT | FALL 2017


Among the lab’s other specialized instruments is a spec-

If you tweak something in the vineyard or winery and look at

trophotometer, which measures different aspects of wine color.

both the chemistry and sensory analyses on finished wines, did it

“The equipment in this lab allows the students working on my

improve the sensory quality beyond the chemistry?”

research program to get a detailed chemical fingerprint of both

One area of Casassa’s research looks at how berry size affects

grapes and finished wines,” Casassa said. “Wine chemistry

the chemistry and sensory aspects of grapes and wines. “Grapes

analyses differs from sensory analyses, so we do both,”

respond to water in the soil in fairly predictable ways,” he

“It’s not difficult to change things chemically at the cluster or berry level,” he continued. “You can easily do that by adjusting the amount of water or light a vine gets. The question I try to answer is: Is there a link between the chemistry and the sensory?

explained “I can predict a cluster’s response to water based on previous research.” One of the most important aspects of grape management is irrigation. Less water equals smaller berries, which are generally preferred by winemakers because they are more concentrated and contain more solids and less liquid. “And this affects everything

Left: Graduate student Daniel Postiglione collects samples to study.

— the color, aroma and flavor, not to mention yields, which are

Bottom, left: Assistant Professor Federico Casassa uses new equipment.

lower when smaller berries are produced,” Casassa said. Lower yields mean less money for the grape grower. “I have applied different irrigation techniques to produce different berry sizes to see if I can make big berries behave like the more-preferred small berries,” Casassa said. “This leads to another question: Are smaller berries necessarily better than bigger ones as common wisdom dictates?” Two graduate students and three undergraduates, including a visiting undergraduate from the University of Bologna’s Wine and Viticulture Department, are working with Casassa this fall. “They are helping make the wines in the campus pilot winery under my research program and are subsequently teasing out their chemistry in the wine chemistry lab,” he said. The undergraduates will complete their senior projects under Casassa’s research program, and the Italian student is finishing her research internship. Casassa is also mentoring two graduate students working on various aspects of wine chemistry and sensory aspects for their master’s theses. The skills and knowledge the students acquire in the lab can’t be learned in a typical classroom. This is specialized handson work requiring both cutting-edge equipment and chemical knowledge, which must be managed by an experienced researcher. Casassa’s background is grounded in research in his native Argentina, where he worked as principal investigator and winemaker at the Wine Research Center at the National Institute of Agronomic Technology in Mendoza, Argentina. Prior to that, he completed a doctorate in wine chemistry and sensory analysis under the guidance of James F. Harbertson of Washington State University, one of the most renowned wine chemists in the world. “We have certain analytical capabilities in the lab now that we didn’t have in the past,” Casassa said. “The lab was retrofitted in the spring, and in another three months, it will look entirely different. It’s a work in progress.” n

Left: Senior Patricia Williams works as other students observe.

WVIT.CALPOLY.EDU | CAL POLY 11


COVER STORY

TAKING SHAPE

I

NTEREST IN CAL POLY’S Center For Wine And Viticulture

curriculum, but until the center is built, the three remaining

continues to gain traction from industry and friends of the

initiatives that Lecat has identified cannot be fully realized.

Wine and Viticulture (WVIT) Department, and if all goes

“This center will provide us with the tools to implement

according to plan, the College of Agriculture, Food and

the best bachelor’s degree curriculum in wine and viticulture

Environmental Sciences (CAFES) will break ground on the

in the U.S.,” Lecat said. “Our program is the only one in the

center sometime in 2018.

country that teaches every WVIT student all three of the major’s

The center is at the heart of four initiatives laid out by WVIT

concentrations. Wine business students learn about viticulture

Department Head Benoît Lecat that will position the department

and winemaking, viticulture students are taught enology and

to offer the nation’s premier wine and viticulture bachelor

wine business, and enology students will know every step of the

program, the only one of its kind that educates all students to

supply chain. We call this holistic approach ‘from grape to glass.’”

approach the three facets of the industry: viticulture, winemaking and wine business. In addition to building the center, those initiatives include

The new center will include a state-of-the-art 15,500-squarefoot winery designed for maximum efficiency. It will include a water recycling system and other sustainability features, a

reinforcing the curriculum to include more science-based

fermenter, a bottling room, a barrel room and a lab for research,

classes; internationalizing the program through visiting

including senior projects. Both student and commercial wines

professors, research and study abroad trips; and developing

will be produced there.

extended education opportunities to deliver more services to the local community. The hiring of new tenure-track faculty members in enology and viticulture has helped strengthen the science aspect of the

A rendering of the Center for Wine and Viticulture.

12 CAL POLY WINE AND VITICULTURE DEPARTMENT | FALL 2017

“The production capacity will be small, but big enough for students to learn all the steps in the winemaking process, including wine sample analysis,” Lecat said. “The income generated from the commercial wines — the ones we sell with


TWO-THIRDS OF THE FUNDING HAS BEEN SECURED TO BUILD THE LONG-AWAITED CENTER FOR WINE AND VITICULTURE the Cal Poly logo — will be fundamental because the profits will

SUPPORT THE EFFORT

pay the operating costs of the winery and will help support our

To join the effort to build the Center for Wine and Viticulture, contact

teaching programs. All our operations are not fully funded by

Grant Kirkpatrick, senior director of development, at 805-756-2173

the state; instead they are self-supported.”

or gkirkpat@calpoly.edu, or visit cafes.calpoly.edu/giving.

The second building in the center is the 11,800-square-foot Grange Hall, which will house an events center where the college, campus and industry can host conferences and meetings. It will also include a small kitchen; three laboratories — viticulture,

Monterey, Napa, Sonoma, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and

enology and sensory labs; lecture/reception halls; and offices for

Paso Robles. A team committed to the project has been hosting

faculty, visiting professors, grad students and students working

receptions and giving presentations in some of those regions.

on senior projects

Thulin, Lecat, Lohr and others hit the road in mid-May,

“The center will provide students with a fully functioning

speaking to friends and industry partners at events at Peltier

5,000-case bonded winery that will allow students to get the

Winery & Vineyards in Lodi, Pine Ridge Winery in Napa, and

hands-on, Learn by Doing experience that Cal Poly is known for,”

Seghesio Family Vineyards in Sonoma. This fall, receptions are

said CAFES Dean Andrew Thulin.

planned locally on the Central Coast.

Nearly $10 million of the total fundraising goal has been

“Our goal is to inform industry about the WVIT Department

committed, with $5 million left to go. To advance the project to

and the importance of the Center for Wine and Viticulture,” Lecat

the finish line, a fundraising committee has been formed with

said. “Our bachelor’s program is graduating more industry-ready

Jerry Lohr of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines taking the lead. Other

professionals than any other university. That means industry will

members represent the major wine regions of California: Lodi,

be seeing more of our graduates than any other institution’s.” n

WVIT.CALPOLY.EDU | CAL POLY 13


INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIPS

Jerry Lohr LONGTIME FRIEND TO PROGRAM LENDS HIS INVALUABLE SUPPORT JERRY LOHR, OWNER AND PRESIDENT of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, is recognized as a visionary in the industry. Raised on a South Dakota farm, Lohr said his agricultural roots taught him how to be successful. “I have seen it in South Dakota and also in California — if you are willing to work hard and truly listen to people and cooperate with them, you will do fantastic,” Lohr said. Lohr, 80, has long been a key supporter of the Cal Poly wine and viticulture program, both as an advisor and through his philanthropic gifts toward the development of the Center for Wine and Viticulture. “I have a special spot in my heart for Cal Poly because of the students,” said Lohr. He frequently employs Cal Poly students and alumni at his own vineyards in Monterey, Napa Valley and Paso Robles. Lohr has been a champion of the college’s efforts to build a winery and associated labs on campus since the project’s conception nearly a decade ago. With an extensive background in civil engineering, Lohr has been involved in the most minute details of the planning. But more importantly, he has been an advocate of the project among key

“My hope is that now that industry

stakeholders and donors — ultimately

partners can see what is going to happen,

leading to donations totaling two-thirds

they will continue to give at the million-

of the $15 million needed to make the

dollar level.” said Lohr. “The evolution of

center a reality.

the concept and design of the center was a

Lohr kicked off fundraising efforts in 2011 with a $1 million donation and has continued to give since. On a recent

long road that is now behind us. Now we can say, ‘Here is what it looks like.’” He added that any pledge helps. He

fundraising trip to Sonoma, Napa

hopes industry leaders will step up their

and Lodi, he helped raise more than

support of the project; there is room for

$1.5 million in pledges from Lodi vintners

everyone to be a part of it.

Ron McManis (see article, Page 22) and the Ledbetter family, among others.

Lohr said his passion for the wine industry grows stronger each day.

14 CAL POLY WINE AND VITICULTURE DEPARTMENT | FALL 2017

Jerry Lohr is a key supporter of the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Department and efforts to expand its facilities. | COURTESY PHOTO

“Here is a chance to invest in young people or training that is going to have an immediate positive impact,” said Lohr. “The idea of being a part of something that is vertically integrated — in which you grow, make and sell a product — is a unique industry opportunity. And Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing methodology is teaching students just that every day.” n


Compliance BONDED WINERY WILL EXPAND LEARN BY DOING EXPERIENCES, SAYS COMPLI’S FOUNDER-CEO IN THIS Q&A, Cal Poly alumna Rachel Dumas Rey (Political Science, ’91), founder and CEO of Compli, a wine and beverage compliance company based in Templeton, California, details the valuable learning opportunities a bonded campus winery will bring. She will teach a class on wine law and compliance with attorney Courtney

Rachel Dumas Rey

Taylor during winter quarter. Once Cal Poly has a bonded winery

Compli, where students will learn all

on campus, what are some of the key

aspects of production, labeling and tax

factors that must be considered? How

reporting compliance. Students will also

does this translate into a learning

learn how to comply with regulations,

opportunity for students?

licensing and tax requirements outside

Licensed wineries must comply with dozens of regulations, and the campus winery creates a huge opportunity for students to gain valuable hands-on experience in producing and selling a highly regulated product. In the past, Cal Poly wine was made through the generosity of outside winery partners, but that arrangement limited the opportunities of hands-on learning for students, especially in the area of compliance. Cal Poly’s own licensed facility will allow students to produce

of California for sales to wholesalers and consumers. Interns will maintain all Cal Poly winery records, file required excise and sales tax returns, and obtain appropriate licenses for sales outside of California with the mentorship of our

“THE NEW CAMPUS WINERY WILL EMBODY THE LEARN BY DOING PHILOSOPHY AND MAKE FUTURE GRADUATES EVEN STRONGER CANDIDATES IN THE JOB MARKET.” — RACHEL DUMAS REY

experienced team. Interns will also have the opportunity to work on compliance for some of our regular clients to gain an understanding of how compliance functions work not only for other U.S. wineries but also for importers and wholesalers.

and sell Cal Poly-branded products and learn how a wine business operates

Tell me about your connection to

from end to end.

Cal Poly and your relationship with the

was born. Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy resonates with me personally because it’s how I built Compli from the ground up.

Wine and Viticulture Department.

What about this project inspired you to

I graduated in 1991 with a degree in

be involved?

political science. I was invited to teach

I love the experience I had as a student at

a course on government compliance in

Cal Poly. Many of my staff graduated from

Regulatory compliance in the wine

the Wine Business certificate program

Cal Poly as well. As predicted a dozen

business is critical and complex. We

about 15 years ago and jumped at the

years ago, Cal Poly is helping the wine

are excited about the new partnership

chance to be back on campus and

industry grow by supplying highly qualified

between Compli and Cal Poly’s Wine

work directly with small business

graduates to work in California wineries

and Viticulture Department that will

owners and students seeking careers

and in companies like mine, which makes

allow our staff compliance experts to

in the wine industry. Around that same

us stronger and more competitive globally.

work closely with faculty and mentor

time, local industry leaders and other

The new campus winery will embody the

the students who will be producing

Cal Poly alumni were working to create

Learn by Doing philosophy and make

and selling Cal Poly wines. We will

the new wine and viticulture major,

future graduates even stronger candidates

have a student internship program at

and the dream of a campus winery

in the job market. n

What guidance are you providing to the Wine and Viticulture Department on various compliance factors?

WVIT.CALPOLY.EDU | CAL POLY 15


INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIPS

VALUABLE CONNECTIONS IT’S NOT UNCOMMON FOR LOCAL wineries and vineyards to partner with Cal Poly’s Wine and Viticulture (WVIT) Department on projects involving winemaking or grape growing, and these partnerships “are good for the wineries, good for the department and good for the students,” said Federico Casassa, assistant professor of enology.

PARTNERSHIPS WITH INDUSTRY OFFER UNIQUE LEARN BY DOING OPPORTUNITIES

“Wineries come to us with ideas for

ripening process, generally from early July until mid-September. Under the guidance of Casassa and Dodson Peterson, the students will harvest the grapes and make wine from both the thinned vines and those left full using three winemaking techniques. In the winery, whole cluster and stem additions will be tested on Pinot noir. Stems are sometimes added to the

experiments and research,” he said. Last

fermenters, either as such or by leaving the

year, Tolosa Winery in Edna Valley sought

vineyard we will be looking at the effect

cluster uncrushed. Stems, the green part of

the department’s expertise to determine

of cluster thinning on grape and wine

the clusters, provide potentially desirable

if the vineyard got too much sun to

composition, and in the winery we will

and positive compounds that may affect

successfully grow Pinot noir grapes.

look at the effect of a series of winemaking

the wine’s color and mouthfeel.

“One way to control light exposure is to use shade cloths, which are expensive,” Casassa explained. “Dr. Dodson Peterson

practices, including whole cluster and stem additions,” Casassa said. Cluster thinning — dropping a portion

The second method will ferment whole clusters with no destemming, which can potentially result in a whole different

and I designed an experiment, put the

of the cluster to achieve yield and quality

flavor profile. The third winemaking

experimental design in a controlled

goals — isn’t a new practice; it’s widely

technique will use 50 percent whole

portion of the vineyard block, and a few

done across the industry. “It’s common,

clusters and 50 percent destemmed

students worked on it. They did all the

but you lose yield,” Casassa said. “The

clusters. Then all the wines will undergo

heavy lifting.”

common reasoning is that low yields result

both chemical and sensory analyses.

Jean Dodson Peterson is assistant professor of viticulture at Cal Poly and is involved in a variety of research efforts locally and in California’s North Coast.

in higher quality fruit. Chamisal wants to know if it’s worth it.” To find out, Chamisal has designated

“We did the same thing last year but without any funding. We would like to repeat both experiments this upcoming

a block — a couple of acres — where

2017 harvest,” Casassa said. “Every year

the WVIT Department will conduct

— each vintage — is different and that, in

signed a new agreement with Chamisal

the experiment. The students will thin

turn, affects the chemistry and potentially

Vineyards, also in the Edna Valley. A grant

the clusters through the maturation or

the sensory of the resulting wines.”

This year the WVIT Department has

from the California State University’s

Dodson Peterson said, “The thinning

Agricultural Research Institute will

project at Chamisal is an exciting

partially fund the project, with an in-kind

opportunity for us because there hasn’t

match from Chamisal.

been a lot of work in Pinot specifically, let

“One graduate student and one undergraduate student will help with the study, which will be done in both the vineyard and in the winery. In the

Right: To prevent oxidation and spoilage of fermenting fruit from the Chamisal Vineyards cluster thinning experiment, senior Niclas Dermutz injects CO2.

16 CAL POLY WINE AND VITICULTURE DEPARTMENT | FALL 2017

alone on the Central Coast. Dr. Casassa and I are hoping to continue to do projects that serve the local industry by improving vineyard and enological practices.” n


WVIT.CALPOLY.EDU | CAL POLY 17


ALUMNI PROFILE

ADVICE FROM EZRA HENSON:

Embrace Change SOME PEOPLE DO EVERYTHING in their power to avoid change, but Cal Poly alumnus Ezra Henson (Wine and Viticulture; Agricultural Business, ’07) has embraced change on his way up the corporate the ladder at Constellation Brands, where he serves as director of category management. “Category management is a very strategic and analytical role within sales,” Henson explained. “It involves measuring and reporting all aspects of our business, from sales trends and distribution to the effectiveness of sales promotions. We spend hours mining data, validating data and building analyses that tell a story,” he said. At Cal Poly, Henson interned at Wild Horse in Paso Robles, California, and worked in its tasting room during his last two years. He moved to Beam Wine Estates after it bought Wild Horse and then joined Constellation Brands, one of the largest alcohol companies in the U.S., when it acquired Beam Wine in 2007. After a year as marketing coordinator, Henson’s manager gave him some valuable advice. “He said that no matter what position I wanted to work in, it would be good to get field sales experience and ‘carry a bag.’ That means working side by side with distributor sales representatives in an entry-level sales role.” And so Henson went to work as a territory manager. “Sales is a crucial part of any wine business, so it’s important to have that knowledge,” Henson said. The job highlighted the differences between marketing and sales. “My next role was a trade marketing and promotions job that was the bridge between marketing and sales. From there I wanted to learn about sales data and analytics because I realized how important it was. That’s what drew me into my current role — one of my favorites,” Henson said. Henson advises students about the importance of networking. “In this industry, you will work with many of the same people throughout your career and cross paths with them at different times,” he said. “Cultivating a good network early is a great way to set yourself up for success.” To those considering a career in sales, he recommends, “Go carry a bag.” n Ezra Henson works in Constellation Brands’ San Francisco office.

18 CAL POLY WINE AND VITICULTURE DEPARTMENT | FALL 2017


VINEYARD UPDATE

IN LAST YEAR’S edition of Vines to Wines, we talked to Jean Dodson Peterson, assistant professor of viticulture, about the steps being taken to redevelop and expand Cal Poly’s Trestle Vineyard. (Read last year’s article at wvit.calpoly.edu/pages/news.)

On the Mend REPLANTING PROGRESS CONTINUES AT THE TRESTLE VINEYARD

She designed and implemented the new vineyard — the teaching and production blocks — and drove the movement to get project approval. The project is steadily progressing, thanks in large part to the generosity of individuals and industry partners that have donated cash and in-kind gifts. Here’s an update from Dodson Peterson: “In spring we began planting the teaching vineyard, which included the winegrape ampelography, rootstock and table grape blocks. In 2018 we will focus on getting the first three years of the rotation block planted, along with the head-trained Zinfandel, research and production blocks. “We are working with Ranch Systems and Tule to integrate cutting-edge water management and irrigation monitoring, which will allow students to have an active role in controlling vineyard management decisions based on realtime data.” Three Cal Poly alumni from Pacific Vineyard Co. in Edna Valley, San Luis Obispo, helped coordinate the removal of the old vineyard and are helping develop the new vineyard. Those involved are General Manager George Donati (Ag Business Management, ’74), Vineyard Manager Erin Amaral (Plant Protection Science, ’99) and Vineyard Manager Jim McGarry (Fruit Science, ’01). Pacific Vineyard got on board with

didn’t know why they were so different. I thought then that a professional

the project in 2014. “When we were

vineyard management company should

asked to help re-develop the vineyard

be involved in some fashion.

into a teaching vineyard, I knew we

“This year we installed the trellis

Above: Assistant Professor Jean Dodson Peterson works on replanting Cal Poly’s Trestle Vineyard.

SUPPORT THE EFFORT

wanted to be involved,” Donati said.

system and the irrigation system,”

For ways to support the Trestle Vineyard

“Many students at other properties that

Donati continued. “We also planted

project, contact Grant Kirkpatrick, senior

we manage compared our managed

about 40 percent of the vines in the

director of development, at 805-756-2173

vineyard to the old Trestle Vineyard. I

teaching vineyard.”

or gkirkpat@calpoly.edu. n

WVIT.CALPOLY.EDU | CAL POLY 19


FACULTY NEWS

Federico Casassa

Research

Benoît Lecat

Marianne McGarry Wolf

WINE AND VITICULTURE FACULTY SHARE THEIR FINDINGS IN PRINT, PRESENTATIONS

FEDERICO CASASSA

the Unified Symposium in Sacramento in

• “Food and Wine Pairing in Burgundy:

IT’S HARD TO IMAGINE that Federico

January; and “Regulated Deficit Irrigation”

the Case of Grands Crus,” included in

at the Fifth Annual Ramona Valley Vineyard

Beverages: Special issue on Food and Wine

Association’s Wine and Grape Symposium

Pairing, Vol. 3, No. 10, 2017.

Casassa could fit any more into his full schedule of teaching and research activities, yet he managed to snag a best paper award from the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) for a study he co-authored with James F. Harbertson of Washington State University. The paper, “Effects of Vineyard and Winemaking Practices Impacting Berry Size on Evolution of Phenolics during

in Escondido, in July. At the WiVi Central Coast 2017 event in March, he participated in a discussion titled “A Study in Phenolics.” And as a judge at this year’s California Mid-State Fair

France: An Overview and Perspectives,”

In addition to leading the Wine and

2016 edition of the American Journal of

Viticulture (WVIT) Department, helping

Enology and Viticulture.

raise funds for the Center for Wine and Viticulture, teaching and conducting

the paper at the society’s 68th national

research, Department Head Benoît Lecat

conference in Bellevue, Washington, in

has co-authored several recently published

June. Each year, the ASEV Best Paper

articles, including one with WVIT Professor

Committee selects one paper in the

Marianne McGarry Wolf. Articles include:

content and that contribute substantially to the field. Casassa gave several other presentations last year, including the “Impact of

Research, Vol. 30, No. 2, 2017.

• “Fraud and Counterfeiting Wines in

Paper Award and was published in the fall

viticulture that are deemed outstanding in

in the International Journal of Wine Business

270 wines. Now that’s dedication.

BENOÎT LECAT

field of enology and one in the field of

Promotion and Service Attributes,” included

in Paso Robles in July, he sampled about

Winemaking,” won the Best Enology

Casassa presented a lecture about

• “Winery Website Loyalty: the Role of Sales

• “An Exploratory Study to Develop Korean Food and Wine Pairing Criteria,” published in Beverages: Special issue on Food and Wine Pairing, Vol. 3, No. 40, 2017.

published in the British Food Journal: Special Issue on Food and Supply Chain integrity, Vol. 119, No. 1, 2016. • “Perceived Risk and the Willingness to Buy and Pay for ‘Corked’ Bottles of Wine,” included in the International Journal of Wine Business Research, “Vol. 28, No. 4, 2016. • “Lack of Trust in the Wine Chain: The Case of Cruse Affair for the Bordeaux Wines (Winegate) and its Consequences on the Burgundy Wine Industry,” included in a special issue of Recent Patents on Food, Nutrition & Agriculture, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2016.

Processing Techniques on Red Wine Color”

• “Don’t Believe the Hype: A Grounded

MARIANNE MCGARRY WOLF

at the Enartis USA’s The Phenolic Series

Exploratory Six Country Wine Purchasing

Marianne McGarry Wolf, professor of

seminars in Santa Rosa in March; “The Art

Study,” co-authored with Wolf and others,

wine business, is widely published on the

of Finding a Wine’s Ideal Balance (Sweet

published in the Journal of Wine Research,

factors that motivate consumers to buy a

Spot)” at the Spanish General Session at

Vol. 28, No. 2, 2017.

particular brand of wine or food.

20 CAL POLY WINE AND VITICULTURE DEPARTMENT | FALL 2017


She applies Learn by Doing by asking wineries for research questions they want answered and incorporates those topics into class assignments, which she later shares with industry through publications. McGarry Wolf’s most current contributions concern consumer attitudes toward wine labels, fair trade, sustainability, wine closures, the use of social media in wine marketing and the use of technology in wine purchasing. She is also examining whether wine market segmentation by generation is an important marketing strategy. Recent papers McGarry Wolf has co-authored with Cal Poly agribusiness Professor Lindsey M. Higgins include:

• “Are There Differing Strategies for Social Media Use by Winery Size in California?” published in the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Volume 32, Nos. 1/2, 2017. • “Millennials as Luxury Wine Buyers in the United States?” published

Back for More JIM SHUMATE RETURNS WITH HIS EXPERTISE JIM SHUMATE (Wine and Viticulture, ’09), former winemaker at Pomar Junction Vineyard and Winery in Templeton,

Jim Shumate (above) is teaching winemaking classes and supervising the campus pilot winery he helped set up years ago.

California, recently added lecturer in Cal Poly’s Wine and Viticulture Department and supervisor of the campus pilot winery to his lengthy resume. It’s actually a return engagement

His transition to a classroom seemed natural. “I’ve actually been a teacher

in the International Journal of Wine

for Shumate, who worked at Cal Poly

my whole career, but not in a typical

Business Research, Volume 28,

from 2008 to 2011. Back then he helped

classroom,” Shumate said. “In the grocery

Issue 3, 2017.

set up the pilot winery and taught the

business, I trained the new department

• “What Drives the Trade Purchaser’s

400-level winemaking series before

managers, and at the winery, I trained

leaving to take over winemaking duties

harvest cellar workers.”

Decision to Purchase a Specific Wine?” published in the Journal of Food Distribution Research: Proceedings Issue, Volume 48, Issue 1, 2017. • “Segmenting the Sustainable Wine Consumer,” published in the Journal of Food Distribution Research: Proceedings Issue, Volume 48, Issue 1, 2017. In the popular press, McGarry Wolf’s article “Lost in the Wine Aisle? Vintners want to know which labels appeal”

at Pomar Junction. He came to winemaking a little later

At Cal Poly, he is teaching the lab and lecture sections of WVIT 404: Winemaking

in life. “I spent 18 years in the grocery

I, and the lab classes for WVIT 405 and

business in San Diego. I started out

406 Winemaking II and III, respectively.

bagging groceries at age 16 and worked

In his classes, Shumate strives to engage

my way into management.”

and educate. “I have to teach them how

In 1999 he decided to switch careers. He moved to Paso Robles, landed a job at Meridian Vineyards, and enrolled in classes at Cuesta College. “I first worked in the cellar at

to make wine, but I also aim to keep them engaged the entire quarter,” he said. Shumate likes being in the classroom and “seeing the light bulb come on. It’s great to watch all the parts come together

appeared in the Dec. 29, 2016, edition

Meridian Vineyards, learning from the

and click and see the students take off,”

of the Houston Chronicle.

ground up — from washing barrels and

he said. “I also love to follow them after

running crews to helping make the wine,”

graduation. Social media makes it easy to

Makers Reel in Drinkers,” was

Shumate said. “I had some great mentors

stay in touch and see where they go. Some

published in the Dec. 24, 2016,

at Meridian that showed me all aspects of

of my former students are making wine all

edition of Newsweek. n

winemaking. It was a great education.”

over the world.” n

“What’s In a Label? How Wine

WVIT.CALPOLY.EDU | CAL POLY 21


THANK THANK YOU, YOU, DONORS DONORS

Investing in the Future MCMANIS FAMILY PLEDGES $500,000 TO BUILD CENTER FOR WINE AND VITICULTURE ANALYTICS LAB RON MCMANIS IS A FOURTH-GENERATION farmer whose passion for viticulture led him on a successful pursuit resulting

Ron and Jamie McManis (above, center) run a successful business with help from family. | COURTESY PHOTO

in the award-winning wines of the McManis Family Vineyards in Ripon, California. The fruits of his success were born of hard work and a family commitment. The business is a family affair, with McManis and

grow, market the product, and how to pay for it,” McManis said.

his wife, Jamie, joined by their son Justin McManis and his wife,

Today his enthusiasm remains in selling products that are grown

Stefanie, and their daughter, Tanya McManis Heuvel, and son-in-

with passion and marketed to its highest and best use.

law, Dirk Heuvel, all contributing to the day-to-day operations. Now the McManis family is giving back — pledging $500,000 to the Cal Poly Center for Wine and Viticulture to fund an analytics lab. In recognition of their gift, a laboratory in the new building will be named The McManis Family Vineyards Lab. “As a family and business practicioner, I’m a firm believer in investing in the future of the industry,” McManis said. “I was compelled to give to this project because of the education that Cal Poly students are receiving.” McManis jokes that his college education was on the family

McManis does not have any specific ties to Cal Poly but values the role that the Wine and Viticulture Department plays in the industry. On a recent fundraising trip throughout Napa, Lodi and Sonoma, McManis was encouraged to see Jerry Lohr of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, who is at the helm of the effort to build Cal Poly’s Center for Wine and Viticulture. “I have the greatest respect for what Jerry has done for the industry, both as a leader and for his investment in it,” McManis said. “We wanted to do our part. The industry has

farm, helping his father with the grapes, peaches and almonds

been good to me and my family, and I see giving back to it as

that have long been part of the family heritage. “I learned how to

my responsibility.” n

22 CAL POLY WINE AND VITICULTURE DEPARTMENT | FALL 2017


C A L P O LY C E N T E R F O R W I N E A N D V I T I C U LT U R E

BUILDING BLOCKS

200 50+

PEOPLE HOSTED FOR MEETINGS AND EVENTS

CAREER-READY STUDENTS GRADUATE EACH YEAR, READY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

32 SEATS IN BOTH VITICULTURE LAB AND ENOLOGY LAB

12 SEATS IN THE SENSORY LAB

15,500 SQUARE FEET IN WINERY

12,070 SQUARE FEET IN GRANGE HALL

Exceptional facilities need a solid foundation on which to build. That foundation is you — our alumni, friends and industry partners. With your help, Cal Poly’s Wine and Viticulture Department can build a commercial-grade, bonded winery and learning facility. This project will ensure that we continue producing graduates who are industry ready and poised to be its future leaders. To support the Cal Poly Center for Wine and Viticulture, please contact: Grant Kirkpatrick | Senior Director of Development 805-756-2173 | gkirkpat@calpoly.edu

WVIT.CALPOLY.EDU | CAL POLY 23


California Polytechnic State University 1 Grand Avenue San Luis Obispo, California 93407-0861

A UNIFYING EXPERIENCE

Wine and viticulture majors welcomed visitors to their booth at the 2017 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, held Jan. 24-26 in Sacramento, California. From left: Seniors Gabriel Ceja, Robert Huff and Christian Rodriguez and 2017 graduates Sierra Zeiter and Brynn Bradley. | PHOTO BY CARRIE SOUTH

Vines to Wines Fall 2017