from Peter Salamone, PhD CEO of The ROC
When I first came to the wine industry from biotech 15 years ago, I was attracted to the complexity found in wine and the unanswered questions surrounding unlocking that potential. Today, the pursuit of understanding wine complexity and how viticultural and enological practices can affect wine quality are at the heart of my endeavors in forming the ROC.
Bridging the gap between basic discovery and the application of principles is what the ROC is all about.
From implementation of new tools and practices to simply creating a contextual understanding of the molecular consequences of physical changes in the winemaking process, the ROC is providing winemakers a much-needed link between Research & Discovery and Application & Development.
Bryan Avila brings 20 years of experience to ROC as a winemaker, educator and entrepreneur. Bryan is a UC Davis grad from the department of Viticulture and Enology. He got his start in the industry working as a research enologist making over 1,000 research wines to evaluate vineyard and winery trials. Later, Bryan worked at one of the top wine laboratories in the California North Coast as the enological consultant for the clientele where he discovered his love for sharing his knowledge with fellow vintners and winemakers.
After becoming an award-winning winemaker and tenured winemaking instructor for Napa Valley College, Bryan went on to help his clients produce award winning wines and blends for vintners and negociants as a consulting winemaker. As ROC’s Operations Director, he combines his passion for winemaking, education and entrepreneurship by helping ROC membership achieve their goals. Bryan’s superpower is listening to the business needs of clients and making recommendations that lead to delicious wines and stronger brands.
Dr. Richard DeScenzo received his master's in plant pathology and Ph.D. in plant biology at the University of New Hampshire, and conducted his postdoctoral studies on disease resistance genes in barley with the USDA-ARS at Iowa State University. He spent 10 years conducting research on grape genomics, development of molecular diagnostics and fermentation monitoring in the wine industry prior to joining the ETS team. Dr. DeScenzo is the microbiology group leader for ETS Laboratories. ETS provides a range of microbiological analysis for problems occurring during the winemaking process, using a combination of classical microbiology methods and molecular biology techniques. In addition to developing improved diagnostics for the wine industry, Rich focuses on helping clients with a wide range of winemaking problems.
Stephanie Edge received her Bachelor of Agricultural Science Degree (Oenology and Viticulture) from Adelaide University, Australia which included a one-year exchange to UC Davis. During her 20-year history of working in the wine industry, she has worked at a handful of small wineries in the Yarra Valley, Australia, headed up the Research Winery, headed up New Product Development and a Senior winemaker for E&J Gallo winery in California, as well as consulting for wineries in Switzerland, Germany and Australia. Stephanie currently heads up New Product Development, Process & Technology and Winestyle Attainment for winemaking at Constellation Brands. This involves working closely with multiple departments where her responsibilities are to assist Winemakers in turning the vision and concept from Marketing into a liquid product, and researching new ingredients, processes and winemaking techniques to ensure that winemakers have the tools they need.
Larry Brooks started making wine at Acacia in 1979. From there he transitioned into the role of COO and VP of winemaking for the Chalone Wine Group in the mid-90’s. He began consulting in 2000 which led to his role as winemaker and GM for Tolosa between 2006 and 2014. Since then he has resumed consulting as well as lecturing in Sensory Evaluation at both Cal Poly SLO and CSU Fresno. He is known as a winemaker’s winemaker based on nearly four decades of hands on practice primarily with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, though at this point there are few styles of wine he has not made. His education began with a BA in Botany from Rutgers and a MS in Plant Pathology from UCD. He has an evergreen interest in wine science and has co-authored a few papers in the area of wine phenolic analysis. He is based in San Luis Obispo California.
Dr. Eric Herve received his PhD from the Faculté d’Oenologie of Bordeaux, France, where he completed a research program on the key flavor components of Armagnac and Cognac brandies. Dr. Herve joined ETS in 1997 to conduct a cork research program. Eric developed an automated method to reliably measure trace amounts of 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA). He defined the concept of cork’s “Releasable TCA”. Always fascinated by the complexity and mysteries of wine aromas, Eric opted to stay at ETS after the completion of the cork project to develop new analyses, conduct applied research programs, and investigate wine flavor and taint issues. Eric developed the ETS Oak Aroma panel, with its signature radar plot, in addition he reported for the first time the presence of eucalyptol in wines with “minty” and “eucalyptus-like" odors, showing that these aromas often originate from eucalyptus trees growing near vineyards. In addition, he has developed new analytical tools to deal with emerging threats, such as TBA and “Smoke Taint”.
Dr. Bruce Zoecklein worked in the California wine industry and taught Enology at California State University-Fresno prior coming to Virginia Tech University in 1985 where he headed the Enology-Grape Chemistry Group. Currently, Bruce is an Enology Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech. He holds a B.S. degree in Microbiology and Biochemistry, a M.S. in Horticulture/Viticulture and a Ph.D. in Food Science. He is a past member of the Board of Editors of the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, the Australian Journal of Wine and Grape Research and is a contributing editor to several wine industry trade journals. He has co-authored books on wine chemistry and analysis (including Wine Analysis and Production and a Spanish language text Analisis y Vino Produccio). He is the editor of Winery Planning and Design, and has consulted for the Chinese, Moldavian and Argentine governments. He is a past Director and past-Chairman of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture-eastern section. While on annual leave he taught enology at CalPoly during winter quarters for several years. He is a certified auditor for California’s Sustainable Winegrowers Alliance. In 2010 he received the American Society for Enology and Viticulture Distinguished Service Award and in 2016 the Society’s Extension Distinction Award. His research has involved effects of vineyard management and processing on grape aroma and flavor precursors. His electronic-based Enology Notes are available at www.vtwines.info.
Dr. Steve Price's background is in viticulture and he owns a consulting company, Price Research Services, Inc., offering technical support for the wine industry in Oregon, California and Australia. He also owns a vineyard in the Willamette Valley growing Pinot noir. Steve is an Oregon resident who works with wine and grape phenolic chemistry. He regularly commutes from Oregon to the Napa Valley to consult and work with ETS and their California clients. Steve has developed the phenolic assays offered by ETS, works with client support for the phenolic program and works on a range of ETS research projects. He has a PhD from Oregon State University in Plant Physiology and was Viticulturist at OSU for twelve years. He has been consulting with ETS since 1995.
Dr. Mark Greenspan has nearly three decades of viticultural experience, comprised of scientific, technical and practical field efforts. Mark’s academic background includes a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, an M.S. in Viticulture and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering, all from the University of California, Davis. He is one of very few private practitioners who have been elected as an honorary member of Gamma Sigma Delta, the agricultural honor society and is also a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. He holds CCA (Certified Crop Advisor) and CPAg (Certified Professional Agronomist) certifications from the American Society of Agronomy. He holds a Pest Control Advisor (PCA) license with the state of California. Mark is a regular contributor to wine industry publications, and has penned a viticulture column for Wine Business Monthly continuously since 2005. He served as President of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) from 2015 to 2016 and has been an active ASEV member for over 25 years.
Gordon and his wife Marjorie founded ETS in 1978. He has been continuously involved in the wine industry through a number of associations and leadership roles. Gordon is a past president of the Pacific Southwest Section of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists, a past chair of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture Technical Projects Enology Committee, a member of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture Technical Projects Analytical Quality Committee, and is a member of the Wine Institute Technical Projects Committee.
A Flint, Michigan native, Rick was introduced to the culture of winemaking in the mid-70s by the American composer John Richard Ronsheim, whose thought was essential to the creation of the American Center for Food, Wine and the Arts. After relocating to California in 1979, he earned BS and MS degrees from UC Davis Enology. He spent 10 years as a working winemaker before co-founding Vinovation in 1992. Vinovation established the use of membrane filtration for defect and alcohol removal, a process that is now used globally in wine production. He has also been instrumental in launching Micro-Oxygenation and Flash Détente, working with hundreds of clients to apply these techniques. Intellectually peripatetic by nature, he finds it ironic that he is known as a ‘technical’ winemaker, despite a life-long interest in the arts.
From Army Ranger to Park Ranger, Humboldt State Professor Emeritus Dr. Craig Riordan is a proven leader and educator. A seasoned professional in the field of sustainability and natural resource management, Craig brings world-class expertise to ROC’s sustainability program. Craig, a professor of sustainable tourism and park management for twenty-three years, he's invested the most recent fourteen years as a member of the faculty at Humboldt State University. Before his academic career, he received a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resource Management and entered the field of park management where he developed and implemented sustainable management plans for a variety of National and State Parks. To this day, he continues to work with the National Park Service. Craig received his Doctorate in Natural Resource Management from the University of Maine. In his spare time, Craig shows period movies on WWII warships and is currently producing his own wine brand, Bard Clan, a producer of fine fruit and grape wines under his family’s label and is an accredited auditor for the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance who has certified over 100 wineries and vineyards as sustainable.
Hal attended Fresno State where he received a BS in Enology (Food Chemistry) and finished his formal education at Cornell University with a MS in Ag Economics. After working a harvest at Sierra Wine Corporation, he traveled to Europe and worked with the British wine merchants, John Harvey and Sons at their wineries in Jerez (Spain) and Oporto (Portugal). Hal subsequently worked with the Claude Carreau family at Ch. Barbe and Ch. LaCarelle on the right bank in Bordeaux. Once back in the States, Hal spent a short time at Buena Vista Winery and Stags Leap Wine Cellars prior to going to work for the Trinchero family (Sutter Home Winery) in 1976. He advanced from wine production/winemaking to the position of Senior Vice President of Vineyard Operations in 2004. Upon retirement from TFE in 2017, Hal and his team managed all aspects of farming and vineyard development for the Trinchero properties which included about 9,500 acres of winegrapes spanning 10 California counties. Throughout the years, Hal has been a supporter of Fresno State’s viticulture and enology program and has served on the V&E Industry Advisory Board. From 2017 through 2018, Hal served as the CSUF Viticulture and Enology Department industry liaison and in that capacity, he provided support and guidance to the V&E faculty, staff and students.