UC Davis Winemaking instructor Leticia Chacon-Rodriguez at vineyard

Instructor Spotlight: Leticia Chacon-Rodriguez

Leticia Chacon-Rodriguez is the new winemaker/winery manager for the Viticulture and Enology Department at UC Davis. With more than 20 years of wine production and management experience in the California wine industry, Chacon-Rodriguez is enchanted by the winemaking process and the science behind it. She teaches Wine Filtration Short Course.

Why do you teach?
I’ve always enjoyed teaching. I like sharing what I know and seeing others grow—it is very fulfilling to see people succeed. I also see a need for more education at all levels and across fields. I believe that knowledge helps us better understand each other and everything around us.

Why is wine filtration important?
Most wines are filtered prior to bottling. Understanding the basic filtration types, challenges, advantages and disadvantages of the different filtration steps and systems is critical to successfully bottling wine. Other applications of wine filtration can also influence and change the style and properties of wine.

If there’s a single thing you want students to take away from your course, what would it be?
Filtration is complex but easy to understand. We just need to put the pieces together to make it work efficiently. This course will help students understand and apply the concepts in the industry, troubleshoot and be the decision makers regarding which equipment to use or purchase.

Can you share a moment where, as a teacher, you feel like you had an impact on a student’s life?
I once had a student who didn’t think he could be a winemaker because he didn’t have a winemaking degree. I taught him the winemaking process and trained him on wine sensory, provided him with material to read and had him present at a symposium. I also advised him to take the Winemaking Certificate Program. He became a winemaker and is very successful. I feel happy for him and that I impacted his career in a positive way

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