Viticulture and Enology Instructor Spotlights | UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education

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Viticulture and Enology Instructor Spotlights

Meet Kaan Kurtural

 

 

As an associate Cooperative Extension specialist in viticulture with the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology, Kaan Kurtural is well versed in helping grape growers solve real-world production issues. “It is very satisfying to see the results of hard work,” said Kurtural, who grew up on a raisin ranch and whose research focuses on understanding whole grapevine physiology in order to improve agricultural practices and adapt to ecological stresses. Kurtural is the instructor of Establishing and Managing a Small Vineyard.

Kurtural describes his teaching style as participatory, where there is an expectation that students will actively engage in class discussions. He also wants students to come away from the class with the ability to manage their small vineyard without outside consultation. “This class is important because there are so many myths surrounding wine grape production,” Kurtural said. “I hope the class will lift the doubts and provide a good skill set for students to manage their small vineyards.”

 

 

 

Meet Lucy Joseph

 

Lucy Joseph, M.S., is curator of the UC Davis Wine Microbe Collection and co-instructor of Wine Microbiology Workshop. With more than 35 years of experience as a professional microbiologist, she is an expert in spoilage issues, especially Brettanomyces.

Why do you teach?
I enjoy the interaction with people in the industry. They are much more eager to learn and they spend their time wisely when compared to your average undergraduate.

 

How would a student describe your teaching style?
I never try to tell industry professionals how to make their product but am eager to help them solve their problems and understand the organisms that they use in production.

 

What do you want students to take away from your course?
I want them to understand that they are working with a living system and the hardest workers in their winery are the microbes that make the product. These microbes deserve their attention and understanding.

Why is wine microbiology important?
It all starts with the microbes that make the alcohol and can impart flavors, good and bad, to wine. The microbes’ health is imperative to production of the final product. You wouldn’t run a dairy without attending to the health of your herd and you can’t make wine without attending to the health of the microbes.