Instructor Spotlight: Chik Brenneman

Chik Brenneman
Chik Brenneman

Chik Brenneman is the winemaker for the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology and manager of the teaching winery and department wine cellar, where he procures wines and oversees the collections. With more than 25 years in the industry, Brenneman has been teaching Wine Filtration and Step-by-Step Winemaking for UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education for 10 years.

Why do you teach?

Because I love it. Winemaking is both an art and a science. If there was a best way to do things, we’d all do it the same way. I like showing people how to make wine, while allowing them to insert their own creativity into it.

How would you describe your teaching style?

I like to think of my teaching as preparing students for life outside the university. Life is not perfect, therefore there needs to be some controlled chaos inserted into any teaching curriculum so the students know how to react when they encounter problems once they are in the industry. 

Why is wine filtration important?

It is the best way to ensure long-term product stability. That’s the take away message for students.