New extension enologist to help boost quality of Pennsylvania wines

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Extension has hired Denise Gardner, a sensory scientist for Vinquiry Enartis in Windsor, Calif., as the new extension enologist for Pennsylvania, effective May 2.

With guidance from a wine industry advisory committee, Gardner will develop applied enology research and educational programs aimed at commercial winemakers and their employees.

She will conduct on-site evaluations of winemaking operations, recommend improvements and keep winemakers apprised of the latest science regarding wine production methods, winery economics and business practices.

As sensory scientist for Vinquiry Inc., Gardner studied the sensory effects of wine products and ingredients such as yeasts and enzymes on red and white wines. She also consulted with winemakers on enological problems and winemaking techniques, prepared and taught sensory-related seminars, and conducted laboratory analysis of juice and wine.

Her previous experience included work in retail wine-tasting rooms and vineyard maintenance. Gardner earned her bachelor’s degree from Penn State in food science with a minor in horticulture and her master’s degree from Virginia Tech in food science and technology with an emphasis in enology and flavor chemistry. She is a member of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture and the American Wine Society.

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