Two California State University, Fresno students and President John D. Welty are on center stage this week after the university’s award-winning enology program introduced two new wines bearing labels designed by the students.
The new wines — unveiled at a special presentation Wednesday (Dec. 19), just in time for the holiday season, and honoring Welty for his support of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology program — are the 2000 President’s Reserve Chardonnay and the 2000 President’s Reserve Primitivo.
President Welty in turn honored graphic design students Reyes Herrera and Sally Norcross for winning an annual label design contest held in conjunction with the university’s Art and Design Department.
The two were awarded $100 each in prize money: Herrera for designing the President’s Reserve Chardonnay vintage label and Norcross for designing the President’s Reserve Primitivo label.
The President’s vintage was a collaborative effort between Viticulture and Enology, Art and Design and supporters of the program in the wine industry.
Enology students handcrafted the Chardonnay — donated by enology alumnus Dr. Ed Smith and his wife, Andrea Mugnaini — from Alexander Valley grapes grown in Sonoma County.
The Primitivo was produced from grapes grown by Duarte Nursery’s Linden Hills Ranch near Stockton in San Joaquin County.
“I am pleased to support this proven program and especially so because the proceeds from the sale of the President’s Reserve benefit the enology and viticulture programs at Fresno State,” said Smith.
The President’s Reserve Chardonnay currently retails for $19.95 and the President’s Reserve Primitivo for $14.95 per bottle. They are available at the Farm Market on campus and at Daily Cannon Wine Merchants in Fig Garden Village in Fresno.
Proceeds from the sale of Fresno State wines help finance the endeavors of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.
Kenneth Fugelsang, associate professor of enology and winemaster of the Fresno State winery, said Welty is being honored because “for the past 10 years the president has supported the vision of the viticulture and enology programs at Fresno State and has provided leadership to the university as a whole.”
Welty, who this year marked his 10th anniversary at the helm of Fresno State, said he was pleased that the student artists were a part of this honor and he recognized their talents by giving them a certificate.
“These students did a splendid job in their designs for this vintage,” Welty said. “I’m pleased that Fresno State’s agriculture and art faculty and students at Fresno State have worked together so successfully.”
The label contest was held under the direction of Imelda Golik, Fresno State professor of arts and design.
“The relationship between the art and design department and the viticulture and enology department has proved fruitful,” Golik said.
Several other labels designed by graphic art students grace Fresno State wine bottles, such as the Chancellor’s Select Cabernet Sauvignon — a special wine made in conjunction with Santa Rosa Junior College — and the limited edition five-bottle series of California Syrah, produced from the vineyards of John Diener in Fresno County
Robert Wample, chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology and director of the Viticulture and Enology Research Center, said the two new wines represent “a continuation of our effort to utilize the winery as a vehicle through which we can provide educational opportunities for our students while demonstrating the partnerships that exist between our industry and the university.”
“We are proud to recognize President Welty’s leadership with these quality wines,” Wample said.
Fresno State is the only university in the nation that is licensed to produce, bottle and sell wine commercially. For the past three years, the program has received top honors at North America’s largest wine judging event, the California State Fair Wine Competition.
For more information about the Department of Viticulture and Enology, visit http://www.fresnostate.edu/jcast/ve/index.html or contact Wample at (559) 278-2089 or for the Farm Market call 278-4511.