Agricultural Sciences

Penn State Extension enologist earns important credential

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Denise Gardner, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences extension enologist, recently achieved the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) designation from the Society of Wine Educators.

The Certified Specialist of Wine title recognizes a recipient's academic knowledge and mastery of key elements within the realm of viticulture and wine production. Specific topics include physiology of taste, wine composition and chemistry, wine faults and defects, varieties, labeling and regulations for each of the major growing regions in the world, and food and wine pairing.

As the state extension enologist, Gardner provides technical support to the Pennsylvania wine industry. She conducts applied enology research and educational programs aimed at commercial winemakers and their employees.

Gardner provides on-site evaluations of winemaking operations, recommends improvements and keeps winemakers apprised of the latest science regarding wine production methods and business practices. Her expertise includes wine production and wine sensory analysis.

According to Robert Roberts, head of the Penn State Department of Food Science, completion of the internationally recognized Certified Specialist of Wine certification has enhanced Gardner's in-depth knowledge and broadened her expertise in wine production.

"Coupled with her extensive academic background in food science and enology, the CSW certification will enhance Denise's interactions with the wine industry and keeps Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences at the forefront of enology and viticulture," he said. "This accomplishment is another example of Denise's dedication and continued effort to support the Pennsylvania wine industry."

Pennsylvania ranks seventh among states in wine production, bottling more than 1.2 million gallons annually. The state also ranks as the nation's fifth largest producer of wine grapes, with about 2,000 acres yielding as much as 16,000 tons of grapes.

A recent study reported that the wine industry has an annual economic impact of $870 million in the state, including $180 million in tourism-related activity.

Gardner earned a bachelor's degree in food science with a minor in horticulture (small fruits emphasis) from Penn State and a master's degree in food science and technology with an emphasis in enology and flavor chemistry from Virginia Tech. She is a member and serves on the board of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture.

Denise Gardner recently became a Certified Specialist of Wine. The title recognizes a recipient's academic knowledge and mastery of key elements within the realm of viticulture and wine production. Credit: Michael Black / Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated December 12, 2013