Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

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Cornell opens its new teaching winery


April 14, 2009
By Cornell University

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grapeharvestApril 13, 2009 – With the snip of a grapevine, Susan A. Henry, the
Ronald P. Lynch Dean of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and
Life Sciences (CALS), opened the school’s new Teaching Winery before a
large crowd of faculty, students, vintners and other guests April 1.

April 13, 2009 – With the snip of a grapevine, Susan A. Henry, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), opened the school’s new Teaching Winery before a large crowd of faculty, students, vintners and other guests April 1.

grapeharvestCornell, known for its viticulture research, now claims the only university teaching winery in the eastern United States. The $900,000 facility promises to prepare students for careers in New York’s wine and grape industry, which ranks third nationally in wine production and includes more than 250 wineries across the state.

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Ian Merwin, the Herman M. Cohn Professor of Horticulture, and Ramón Mira de Orduña, associate professor of enology, helped Henry unveil the 1,800-square-foot building. The winery, attached to the Cornell Orchards store, will act as the Ithaca hub for CALS’ new viticulture and enology undergraduate major, which enrolls roughly 30 students and draws on more than 50 faculty members from the horticulture, food science technology, plant pathology, and applied economics and management departments. Inside the winery, students will access cutting-edge equipment to learn the science and art of winemaking.

Previously, V & E students crafted wines in a makeshift lab on the mezzanine of Stocking Hall. At the ceremony, students offered tastes of experimental wines produced in a fall 2008 class.

The winery includes state-of-the-art fermentation tanks and a modern microbiological and chemical lab, elements needed for the storage of grapes and the preparation and analysis of wines. It will allow students and faculty convenient access to three acres of hybrid wine grapes at Cornell Orchards and is near the program’s Lansing vineyards, which grow more traditional varieties like Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay.

Numerous wineries and companies were thanked for donating equipment, including de-stemmers, filters, barrels and tanks, and also enzymes, yeast, bacteria and fining agents used in the production of wine.