Students discover more about wine during summer program


Photo courtesy of Linfield Center for the Northwest
The Oregon Wine Industry Experience interns sit down with many of the A to Z Wine Works staff to get a better understanding of various types of jobs the industry has to offer.

Students who participated in “The Linfield College Oregon Wine Industry Experience” found ways to further their interests and find new ones this summer.

The program was set up by Linfield Center for the Northwest to give Linfield students a taste of the wine industry. Seniors Shelby Duarte and Kelly Carmody both participated this summer and are still participating in the program.

This summer students visited vineyards and wineries around Oregon, learning everything about the wine-making process.

“We learned about all areas of the wine industry, such as wine-making, food and wine pairing, biodynamic farming, how to drive a forklift,” Duarte said. “We got a general overview of all the subjects and to hear a lot of different wine makers.”


Photo courtesy of Linfield Center for the Northwest
Interns senior Caren Siegel (left), junior Jessie McGraw (center) and senior Shelby Duarte test their skills to see which scents they could identify in the wine they sampled at A to Z Wine Works.

Both Duarte and Carmody did not really understand wine until they participated in the program.

“When I started the internship, I definitely wasn’t a big wine drinker, but I’ve tasted so much wine now,” Carmody said. “I’ve come a long way from thinking it tastes like bad grape juice. It definitely has all these flavors and undertones to it.”

“I didn’t [like wine] at first,” Duarte said. “But once I started in the program, I tasted good wine.”

For the harvest, Duarte and Carmody work with two different wineries. Carmody interns with Dominio IV, a winery on Fifth Street, and Duarte has a job working in Ponzio Wine Bar’s tasting room.

“I’m learning something new every day,” Duarte said. “My wine manager who has been in the wine industry for 35 years also says there’s always something to learn.”

The Oregon Wine Experience Program also finds a way to tie into a student’s interests.

According to Duarte, most of the participants are marketing majors and using the experience as an opportunity to get some real world experience. Spring Term 2014, the students are allowed to find an internship that interests them.

Carmody is an electronic arts major, which is a combination of mass communication, computer science and the fine arts. Her hope with the wine industry experience is to get a job advertising different wineries and vineyards.

“It would be amazing if I could get a job in the wine industry,” Carmody said. “That’s something I’m going to pursue. I definitely want to do something in videography and graphic design. I feel like there’s a lot of room in the wine industry for that.”

Carmody would like to possibly make videos or labels for wineries. She and her roommate senior Caren Siegel, who is also a participant in the program, created some wine labels this summer.

They received advice from Andrea La Rue of Nectar Graphics on how to improve them and plan to use them in the spring.

Duarte is a marketing major and hopes to acquire a marketing job at Ponzi Wine Bar.

“If there isn’t anything available through Ponzi, I will reach out to other wineries,” Duarte said. “I really like the wine industry here.”

In a marketing job, Duarte would be able to put a lot of what she has learned as marketing major to the test.

“I think they’d manage their social media, doing events, working with distributors, meeting with sales reps and teaching them about their product,” Duarte said about marketing jobs in the wine industry.

The participants will also go abroad as part of the program this Jan Term. They will visit Burgundy, France to compare Oregon wine and French wine.

Gilberto Galvez / Features editor

Gilberto Galvez can be reached at