Print this page  PRINT »
E-mail this page  E-MAIL THIS PAGE »
Close this window  CLOSE THIS WINDOW »
News Headline July 7, 2008

Lake to Lead Southern Oregon Wine Institute

Umpqua Community College appoints program director

by Kate Lavin
Southern Oregon Wine Institute
Chris Lake
Two weeks before he takes over as director of the Southern Oregon Wine Institute, viticulturist Christopher Lake says his biggest goal for the Umpqua Community College (UCC) program is to establish the academic program the school is rolling out this fall.

The Umpqua Valley lays "a little bit under the radar," he says, referring to the region as a relatively warm climate in what is considered by many to be a cooler winegrape growing area. Now Lake hopes to share his experience as a viticulturist and winemaker with students considering careers in the trade, hopefully bringing the region to the forefront of the state's booming wine industry.

Lake was born in Burlingame, Calif., and raised across San Francisco Bay in Walnut Creek, Calif. He worked at Santa Barbara Winery before enrolling at California State University, Fresno, where he earned a bachelor's degree in plant science.

As part of his new position, Lake will be teaching the following courses:

Lake said he believes that his strength is in viticulture, but working as assistant winemaker to Bob McBratney at Stone Bluff Cellars in Oklahoma has allowed him to manage more day-to-day operations of the winery and appreciate the big picture of running a successful vineyard and winemaking business. "I work both sides of the fence," Lake said.

Prior to joining Stone Bluff Cellars, Lake worked at one of the country's oldest wineries, Arkansas' Wiederkehr Wine Cellars, which was founded in 1880. And as a student at Cal State-Fresno he worked with Fetzer Vineyards.


Previously, UCC offered short-term courses for members of the community looking to deepen their knowledge of grapegrowing and winemaking practices, Lake said. Starting this fall, however, and pending state approval, UCC will offer a certificate program in viticulture and enology to students who complete the 49 course credits designated by the school.

Beginning in 2009 or 2010, the school hopes to offer an associate's degree for students who complete 93 credit hours of coursework that includes classes such as chemistry, Spanish, sensory evaluation of wine and laboratory analysis of musts and wines, among others.

The Southern Oregon Wine Institute recently was awarded a $50,000 grant by the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians. The grant--in addition to a $200,000 grant from the Douglas County Industrial Council and $93,000 from the state of Oregon--meets the fundraising goals set for the first two years of the wine institute program.

For more information about the Southern Oregon Wine Institute, a division of Umpqua Community College, visit
Print this page  PRINT »
E-mail this page  E-MAIL THIS ARTICLE »
Close this window  CLOSE THIS WINDOW »

415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517