This year the Institute had the pleasure to teach students commercial winemaking techniques in the Iowa State University Winery. Two students, Drew Tuttle and Emma Frederick, helped Erin Norton process 2022’s vintage for the commercial winery. Although both students had previous winemaking experiences, they got to further expand their knowledge in the hands-on environment. The institute wanted to share what they had to say about their experience with the industry.
Why did you choose Iowa State University?
Emma: I chose to attend ISU for its reputation, ISU has a great horticulture program, and by going to ISU, I am bettering my chances of getting the job I want. Some other factors that went into my choosing ISU were the possibility of making great connections that I can take with me after graduation. ISU has already proven to be most helpful in ensuring that I get where I want to go. It has given me unique experiences and opportunities that wouldn’t normally be given to a freshman. Attending ISU was a good choice for me and I know there is no other school that could put me any farther ahead.
Drew: I chose Iowa State University because ISU had an excellent program in Horticulture and it felt like home.
What is your major in school?
Emma: My major is Horticulture with an option in food production.
What was your first experience with winemaking or the wine industry?
Emma: My first experience with winemaking was with my dad. My father started making wine as a hobby and as it progressed we became experienced we let it take on a life of its own. Our hope is to start a winery one day together.
Drew: This summer I interned with Pennsylvania State University in collaboration with the USDA. Where I got to work in both vineyards and local wineries. I gained a deeper understanding of viticulture and enology as well as taking a part in everyday operations of a winery.
Has anyone helped shape your interest into getting into winemaking?
Emma: My dad sparked my interest in winemaking and fueled my passion by teaching me the process and allowing me to participate in his hobby. Together his hobby became ours and we gave it the name C.A.V.E wine. C.A.V.E wine is continuously growing as we dream up new ideas for where business can go. With my mom’s help and creative touch we hope to one day open our own winery.
Drew: I was a Rotary exchange student to Australia my junior year of high school. Whilst studying in Australia, I took a geography class where we learned about the Hunter Valley Region, a large producer of wine. This class got me hooked on plants as well as finding my niche of viticulture.
What were your main responsibilities in the winery?
Emma: My job title is wine assistant. My job is to assist my boss Dr. Norton in whatever she needs help with. This includes crushing/processing grapes into wine and running/checking on tests. Along with sanitizing and cleaning the winery space.
Drew: Both Emily and I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Norton throughout the entire process of winemaking. From de-stemming to bottling we saw it all. I helped Dr. Norton with all operations and having insightful discussion about each step of the processes.
What new skills have you learned during your time in the winery?
Emma: I have learned to run a numerous amount of equipment, along with the updated practices of producing wine.
Drew: I have talked extensively with Dr. Norton about wine chemistry and some of the many procedures she does to make sure ISU wine in top quality. The major take away I left with this semester is a greater understanding of how each wine addition and enhancement can affect the finished product.