In 2009, I made my way to California, having been hired as the sensory scientist for Enartis USA (then Vinquiry Laboratories), where I was based in Napa, California. While my day job was focused on wine sensory services and solutions for commercial wineries, life in California would not have been complete without a lot of exploration. Visiting wineries, tasting wines and enjoying the local cuisine was quite appreciated!
While living and working in Napa Valley was an amazing experience, eventually I knew it was time to return home to the wine industry family where I got my start. In 2011, I was hired as Penn State’s Extension Associate in enology. As my interest in winemaking started in 2000, while I was still in high school, I found this opportunity to award me a chance at returning back to where my winemaking interest began. In this new position, I worked closely with Pennsylvania’s industry members and organizations, focusing on education, winemaking decisions, and overall wine quality improvement.
In an effort to continue my professional development while working for Penn State, I have also obtained the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) certification from the Society of Wine Educators and Level 3 certification from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET). I am also an active board member of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture Eastern Section (ASEV-ES), serving as chair in 2017.
In 2017, I decided it was time for a new adventure, and after almost 7 years of working in higher education, I founded Denise Gardner Winemaking. As a wine sensory, production, and education specialist, I can provide winemakers with advanced sensory evaluations, production management and technique assistance, wine flaw evaluations, and winery personnel education and training.
My specialty is identifying wine flaws and providing solutions to fix, prevent, and enhance wines. My passion is not only helping winemakers improve their overall wine quality, but also preventing problems in the future or designing an appropriate style of wine to their product portfolio. Ultimately, I strive to help winemakers obtain higher levels of success with their products regardless of their production conditions and challenges.
With my vast experience, I can help winemakers better craft wines to a specific style, make practical quality improvements, and contribute to the development of hard ciders, beers, and spirits.
Wondering what is in my glass tonight? Or just looking for some good wine information? Feel free to explore the website, contact me, or follow me on social media.