By Ben Ginsburg '17
As of the spring 2017 commencement and graduation ceremonies, the Aggie family now includes more than 250,000 living alumni across the globe. To mark this remarkable achievement, and in partnership with many talented members of the UC Davis community, the Cal Aggie Alumni Association has launched the Alumni Wine Collection.
UC Davis Alumni Wine Program partners Heringer Estates and Ceja Vineyards were selected for the collection. Both are multi-generational family-owned and operated wineries. Winemaker Armando Ceja ’85 studied viticulture and enology at UC Davis, and his son Armando Ceja-Lua graduated in 2017. Heringer Estates is a longtime supporter of UC Davis, and the winery has employed many Aggies over the years.
“In the 1940s my grandfather, Les Heringer, collaborated with UC Davis to develop the first mechanical tomato harvester,” said Mike Heringer, owner and winemaker of Heringer Estates. “Now in 2017, we are proud to be putting our passion for agricultural excellence in a bottle with the UC Davis alumni label.”
The Interim Director of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, Dr. Jean-Xavier Guinard M.S. ’85 Ph.D. ’91, conducted a blind taste test to decide which wines would be selected for the collection. After thoughtful consideration, Heringer Estates 2016 Chardonnay entitled “Discovery,” and Ceja Vineyards 2012 red blend named “Pioneer,” were selected with labels featuring paintings by UC Davis Professors of Art Gina Werfel and Hearne Pardee, respectively. The labels were compiled by alumnus Evan White ’12, who also works for the Robert Mondavi Institute. The on- and off-campus collaboration efforts made the Alumni Wine Collection a project by Aggies, for Aggies.
“Our 250,000 living alumni have countless passions and make their mark on society in different and exciting ways. With this collection, we’re pleased that we can showcase their creativity, bringing two of UC Davis’ greatest strengths together,” said Rich Engel, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Alumni Relations and Executive Director of CAAA. “This is an exemplary collaboration between some of the talented members of the Aggie family. We hope that our members will take this opportunity to celebrate the wine and art expertise of UC Davis and its alumni, but also to celebrate this special occasion.”