Dr. Bruce Zoecklein Announces Enology Extension Replacement at VT

Dec 21

Virginia state enology professor emeritus Dr. Bruce Zoecklein, who retired full-time duties in 2010 but remains part-time at Virginia Tech’s Department of Food Science, has announced his replacement in extension duties.  Molly Kelly, a PhD student of Dr. Zoecklein’s whose research focuses on  the characterization of the aroma composition of Petit Manseng, will assume full-time extension duties for enology in the Department of Food Science on Dec. 25th.

In a newsletter to the industry, Dr. Zoecklein explained that when he first came to Virginia Tech in 1985, his responsibilities included teaching, research and extension support for the 31 wineries in the State, but with over 220 wineries currently, the department’s resources have been overwhelmed. Accordingly, Dr. Joe Marcy and Dean Alan Grant, Virginia Tech made the decision to replace Zoecklein’s position with two faculty positions. Kelly will assume the 100% enology extension, duties, and the other position will handle enology teaching and research.

Kelly comes to Virginia Tech from the Surry County Community College in North Carolinia whose enology program has its own bonded winery which under her direction has made many award-winning wines. Prior to her position at Surry, she was a microbiologist at the New York State Department of Health and on the Bio-defense Team. “Ms. Kelly will build upon our extension efforts designed to support the growth and development of the Virginia wine industry through educational programs and applied research providing an educational bridge between viticulture and enology,” says Zoecklein.

He also announced that his emeritus part-time duties with Tech will end this summer.

Dr. Zoecklein (along with his viticulturist colleague Dr. Tony Wolf)  has presided over a remarkable transformation in quality and reputation for the Virginia wine industry, in large measure due to his enology research, teaching and extension work over the last 27 years, and is admired and appreciated throughout the Virginia wine industry and beyond. We look forward to welcoming Ms. Kelly to the Virginia wine industry and following in her mentor’s footsteps at Virginia Tech’s enology program.

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