Viticulture & Enology

Ben Montpetit New Viticulture and Enology Chair

From the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Ben Montpetit, a yeast geneticist and biochemist, is the new chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology at University of California, Davis.

Montpetit joined UC Davis in 2016 and became department vice chair in 2021.

In his new role, he plans to enhance student offerings, continue to advance diversity efforts and foster investment in students, faculty, staff and department operations.

Chocolate + Wine = Divine

Chocolate and wine are more similar than one might think. For example, chocolate and wine are both fermented, can be analyzed for tasting notes and other sensory descriptors like tannins, and are produced worldwide. With so many different styles and origins of wine and chocolate, tasters can have a lot of fun deciphering which kinds of wines and chocolates best pair together to create a divine sensory experience.

The Winemaker’s Toolkit

Every winemaker has a toolkit. Before, during, and after fermentation, the winemaker can use their tools to craft the wine they want to create, a wine that fits their style, the consumer’s desires, or the vineyard/region. Part of this toolkit is wine additions. These additions are dictated by the laws of the local wine region and, should the wine be exported, the wines of the importing country.

Vote With Your Wine Glass

When a consumer walks down the grocery store wine aisle, their eyes are simultaneously bombarded with a multitude of colors and pictures on labels, with each label representing one of the many brands trying to reach the consumer. Competition abounds, so brands attempt to grab consumers’ attention quickly. There is one wine company that stands out. It’s not because of fancy embossed labels or contorted glass bottles; rather, O’Neill Vintners and Distillers stands out because of its commitment to sustainability.