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Pennsylvania Wine Educator to Start Consulting

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Starting in September 2017, Denise Gardner, enologist, production specialist, and wine educator will be launching Denise Gardner Winemaking (www.denisegardnerwinemaking.com), a new and innovative wine production and education consulting business.

Having been the Penn State Extension Enologist for six and a half years, Gardner decided it was time for a new adventure.  “I really enjoy working with producers and helping them advance.  Private consulting will provide me a better opportunity to help wine producers in a more comprehensive and specific way,” says Gardner.  “I’m really excited to integrate my creativity, knowledge, and experience into Denise Gardner Winemaking.  It’s going to be fun, informative, and rich with proactive wine consulting methods that are original and effective.”

While traditional per-hour fees will still be available for those of potential interest, Denise Gardner Winemaking will feature a monthly service membership subscription in which clientele can choose their level of consulting support and services.  Membership will range from delivering basic services such as email and web-based training support to full consulting services, in which she will work individually with each producer to provide customizable support.

These consulting services also extend their reach into what Gardner considers “long-distance” clients.  “I’ve taken an approach to offer these services to wineries that are outside of Pennsylvania or the Tri-State area by integrating webinars, email communications, and video-conferencing opportunities.  While my more ‘local’ clients will be offered a guaranteed number of visitations per year, long-distance clients can opt into a pay-as-you-play program in which on-site visits would entail a one-time fee specific for that visit.”

In addition to these services, Gardner will of course continue to taste wines.  Every paid service package includes a formal wine tasting by Gardner and a written report about what she tasted and potential next steps she recommends for that wine.  Gardner has developed formal tasting days so that her clients know when to submit wines and when to expect feedback.  She considers this one of the most valuable and unique services she will offer.

“I love tasting wines and helping wineries craft something that we all can agree is good.  It’s best to get a number of people to taste and evaluate a wine, of course, but in this case, I can act as an extra person for that evaluation and discuss production steps with the winemaker.”

Gardner also plans on using her vast understanding of wine style and sensory analysis to help consumers.  She notes that she’s been designing wine pairings for family and friends for years, finds it fun, and is ready to support the consumer side of wine again.  “I’m hoping that I can become a regional contact for when people need wine-and-food pairing suggestions or help restaurants/wine bars create wine menus.  That’s a part of my education that I rarely get to use, and I’m excited to re-integrate this expertise into my consulting services.” 

Gardner does not neglect the past experiences her previous employers have contributed to this entrepreneurial leap.

“I have learned a lot over the past 10 years of my career.  I’m thankful for the opportunities Penn State has allowed me to have and for their support in professionally developing my career over time.  Denise Gardner Winemaking is a great opportunity to tie all of my past experiences together, and I’m excited to bring all of that knowledge and experience back to the cellar.”

Gardner will launch Denise Gardner Winemaking in September 2017.  For more information on this exciting venture, follow Denise through her social media: Facebook (www.facebook.com/GardnerDeniseM/) and Twitter (@DeniseMGardner).

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