Glad Other States are NOT following Texas’s Lead: Pennsylvania Names State Enologist

Glad Other States are NOT following Texas’s Lead: Pennsylvania Names State Enologist

Denise Gardner to replace Stephen Menke in May

by Hudson Cattell

Denise M. GardnerUniversity Park, Penn.—While educational institutions in Texas and Oregon struggle to maintain viticulture and enology research and outreach amid dire budget restraints, Pennsylvania has hired a new state enologist from the private sector. After a lengthy selection process, Denise M. Gardner was appointed to the position of Penn State extension enologist. Succeeding Stephen Menke, now associate professor of enology at Colorado State University, Gardner most recently worked as a sensory scientist for Enartis Vinquiry Inc., Napa, Calif. Gardner, who will be based at Penn State’s Food Science Department at University Park, will begin her new job May 2.

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Virginia is also taking a different path than Texas in support of its wine industry. Click here for details.

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In Texas, the proposed budget cuts will be devastating to the wine industry. If all funding is eliminated, Texas’ viticulture extension agents would be out of work. In a state that’s perpetually short of homegrown winegrapes, they have played a key role in attempting to balance out the grapegrowing and winegrowing sides of the industry, helping existing and novice grapegrowers to add much-needed local vineyard acreage.

Protecting the all-important viticulture advisors should be a top priority. If the proposed budget cuts are enacted, all the Texas wine industry programs would fall by the wayside. Overcoming this issue is vital.

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Love to taste, talk and tweet about Texas wines and where they are in the global scheme for wines. After all that's the only way they will reach the full potential.

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