Winemaking

Advice from our alumni: How to become a winemaker

If you've been dreaming of a career in the wine industry, consider this advice from our alumni. Whether they were fulfilling a lifelong dream in retirement or changing careers, they all shared a passion for winemaking. See what they had to say about their journey and how the Winemaking Certificate Program helped them get there.

Student Spotlight: Perry Reyes

After a successful career in accounting, Perry Reyes decided to marry his love of wine with his experience in finance. He is currently the controller of accounting and finance at Korbel Winery. His experience in the OIV Wine Marketing Program gave him the foundation he needed to take the leap from CPA to wine business.

5 Lessons Learned from a Veteran Winemaker

Winemaking is an art as much as it is a science. And if you’re passionate about winemaking, pursuing a career in the wine industry can be very rewarding. But it is also a difficult and expensive endeavor, so knowing what you’re getting into before you get started is valuable. See what veteran winemaker, Grady Wann, has to say about what he’s learned after more than 25 years in the industry.

Student Spotlight: Sanne Poulsen

Sanne Poulsen had been working in agribusiness management and marketing when she moved to Marlborough—New Zealand’s wine country. After relocating, Poulsen made friends with people in the wine industry and became intrigued by the profession. Looking to invest in her education to balance the practical and technical skills, she found the UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education Winemaking Certificate Program.

Instructor Spotlight: Leticia Chacon-Rodriguez

Leticia Chacon-Rodriguez is the new winemaker/winery manager for the Viticulture and Enology Department at UC Davis. With more than 20 years of wine production and management experience in the California wine industry, Chacon-Rodriguez is enchanted by the winemaking process and the science behind it. She teaches Wine Filtration Short Course.

Instructor Spotlight: Nichola Hall

Nichola Hall is the newest instructor for UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Winemaking Certificate Program. She will be teaching the third course in the program, Quality Control and Analysis in Winemaking. Hall is currently a staff scientist for Scott Laboratories in Petaluma, Calif. and a co-winemaker for Mathew Bruno Wines in Rutherford, Calif.

Instructor Spotlight: Pat Henderson

UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education’s Winemaking Certificate Program has a new faculty member. Pat Henderson will be teaching three of the five courses in the program: Wine Production, Quality Control and Wine Stability. Henderson is the owner/proprietor of About Wine Consulting and has a degree in fermentation science from UC Davis.

Student Spotlight: Richard McClellan

“It’s a landscaping project that got completely out of control,” says Richard McClellan, owner of Highland Hills Vineyard and Winery in Ramona, Calif., when asked about how he got into the wine industry. His “project” is a family affair that has grown into a successful boutique winery that produces 500-750 cases of estate wine each year.

Student Spotlight: Richard Krumwiede

As a landscape architect, Richard Krumwiede, now winemaker/viticulturist at Sycamore Ranch Vineyard & Winery, always enjoyed visiting the grounds of the many wineries he worked on. In 2007, he decided to plant a zinfandel vineyard on his own property after a beetle infestation killed off the native pines. As the vineyard developed, he began making wine, further cultivating his interest in viticulture and winemaking.

Instructor Spotlight: David Pardes

David Pardes, M.S., MBA, a tax partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in San Francisco, brings 12 years of wine industry experience, and a bit of humor, to his decade’s-long career of teaching finance, accounting and taxation to vineyard and winery owners and executives.

Instructor Spotlight: S. 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.

Student Spotlight: Amy LaBelle

4,083 days. That’s how long it took for Amy LaBelle to realize her dream of making wine full-time. She began her career as a corporate attorney, but five years into practicing law, she realized she had missed her calling. From that moment, until the day she opened the doors of her winery, she did something every day to move her dream forward, and now she is the founder and winemaker of the award-winning LaBelle Winery in Amherst, NH.