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College Hires Top Winemaker as Instructor

 

Umpqua Community College in Roseburg has hired Linda Donovan of Pallet Wine Company and L. Donovan Wines as an adjunct instructor.  She will teach the Science of Winemaking III course in the spring term beginning March 29.

“We are delighted to have an enologist of Linda Donovan’s caliber on our faculty,” said Chris Lake, director of UCC’s Southern Oregon Wine Institute. “She’s made some of the finest wines produced in this region and has a solid track record of teaching at Oregon State University Extension as well.”

A founding partner of Pallet Wine Co. in Medford, Donovan is responsible for overseeing all winemaking and day-to-day operations. Opened in 2009, Pallet is a 22,000-square-foot custom crush facility created exclusively to serve Southern Oregon’s rapidly growing wine industry. The company provides full-service winemaking, laboratory, storage, wine education, compliance and support services to growers and wineries throughout the region.  In its first year, Pallet processed more than 180 tons of winegrapes. SOWI collaborated with Pallet last fall to produce a premium Merlot that will be sold through the UCC Foundation to support the Institute’s work.  Twenty viticulture and enology students had the opportunity to participate in every step of the winemaking process at Pallet:  crushing, de-stemming, chemical analysis and fermentation. This year, students will bottle and sell a marketable product bearing the college’s label.

 “Much of Linda’s success stems from her ability to craft distinctive yet well-balanced wines,” Lake said.  “She has a full understanding of the chemistry and microbiology of winemaking, coupled with complete knowledge of processing and equipment.”

Donovan holds a degree in Enology from the University of California at Davis.  After graduation, she worked at leading wineries, including Robert Mondavi and Beaulieu Vineyard, where she was responsible for all experimental (small lot) winemaking. After a stint in Australia, Donovan moved to the Sonoma Valley to focus on making world-class Pinot noir at Flowers Vineyard and Winery.

In 2000, Donovan settled in Southern Oregon to plant a 10-acre vineyard and manage a small agricultural operation.  She also launched a consulting company, L. Donovan Wines, and began assisting regional winemakers and vineyardists. Donovan was commissioned by Agate Ridge Vineyard in Eagle Point, Ore., to build a winemaking facility in 2004.  Working closely with the owner, Donovan designed, equipped and made the first vintage of wines in the 6,000-square-foot winery.  Two years later, she helped establish Cowhorn Vineyard and Garden in the Applegate Valley, where she made the region’s first biodynamic wines. 

For spring term, UCC has hired two additional adjunct instructors:  wine writer Condé Cox, who will teach the Wines of Oregon class; and Angela Chenoweth, an Oregon State University graduate with a Masters Degree in Agricultural Education, will teach Wine Marketing.

For more information on the UCC viticulture and enology program, call (541) 440-7747 or visit www.umpqua.edu.

 

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