Instructor Spotlight: Lucy Joseph

Lucy with wine
Lucy Joseph

Lucy Joseph, M.S., is curator of the UC Davis Wine Microbe Collection and co-instructor of Wine Microbiology Workshop. With more than 35 years of experience as a professional microbiologist, she is an expert in spoilage issues, especially Brettanomyces.

Why do you teach?

I enjoy the interaction with people in the industry. They are much more eager to learn and they spend their time wisely when compared to your average undergraduate.

How would a student describe your teaching style?

I never try to tell industry professionals how to make their product but am eager to help them solve their problems and understand the organisms that they use in production.

What do you want students to take away from your course?

I want them to understand that they are working with a living system and the hardest workers in their winery are the microbes that make the product. These microbes deserve their attention and understanding.

Why is wine microbiology important?

It all starts with the microbes that make the alcohol and can impart flavors, good and bad, to wine. The microbes’ health is imperative to production of the final product. You wouldn’t run a dairy without attending to the health of your herd and you can’t make wine without attending to the health of the microbes.