From Dentistry to Winemaking

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Brandon Moss entered Oregon State University with the long-term plan to become a dentist. Now, ten years later, he is co-winemaker at Gramercy Cellars, a consistently top-ranked winery in Walla Walla, Washington.

While pursuing dentistry, Brandon slowly fell in love with wine during weekly tastings at a Corvallis wine shop. Eventually he left the pre-dentistry program and decided to pursue winemaking as a career. This change meant switching majors midway through his degree path, but Brandon knew that the fermentation science option in Oregon State’s Food Science and Technology program was the right move for him.

“Other programs teach practical skills, but Oregon State University teaches the broad science behind winemaking,” he says. “You see that science background coming back into play as you gain a deeper understanding of wine.”

Brandon is quick to point out that a thorough understanding of wine can benefit virtually anyone with a professional or personal interest in the subject. An appreciation for the nuances of wine flavors and aromas is essential for wine enthusiasts, industry pros, restaurateurs and hospitality professionals, among others.

“Tasting a variety of wines is very important for winemakers and being an educated consumer,” says Brandon. “It’s a continuing learning process.”

It’s only fitting, then, that Brandon’s Gramercy Cellars wine is among those featured in Oregon State’s Sensory Evaluation of Wine two-day workshop in Corvallis. This course, designed by Elizabeth Tomasino, Ph. D. of Oregon State University’s Food Science and Technology department, helps participants evaluate taste, mouthfeel and aroma of wine.

This kind of expert knowledge and training not only provides essential skills for a number of professionals working in the wine industry, it also enhances the wine tasting experience for anyone who takes the course and learns from a wine expert.

“Some of the best experiences I’ve had in restaurants have involved a sommelier who knows the estate, knows the grapes, knows where they’re from, what their winemaking practices are, knows the backstory and is able to communicate all those elements,” says Brandon. These are the kinds of insights participants can expect in Dr. Tomasino’s workshop.

To learn more about Sensory Evaluation of Wine workshop, including future dates, visit this page.

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