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V&E Student Ron Runnebaum Receives Michael Bonaccorsi Scholarship

Runnebaum with samples

Ron Runnebaum, Graduate Student in Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis is the recipient of the 2006 Michael Bonaccorsi Scholarship. This is the second year Runnebaum has received the scholarship, and only the third time it has been awarded. Runnebaum is pursing an Masters of Science degree under the guidance of Dr. Hildegarde Heymann.

Runnebaum’s graduate research centers on understanding the components of white wines that influence the perception of “body”; what is often described as its thickness/thinness or its viscosity perception. As a graduate student, Runnebaum has served as a teaching assistant for several courses, including: Introduction to Winemaking, Wine Stability, and co-instructed Winery Technology & Equipment.

Fall of 2005 found Runnebaum working as a harvest intern at Hanzell Vineyards in Sonoma. “One of the interesting experiences at Hanzell was to witness the variations in Pinot Noir, even within this relatively small estate, due to differences in clone, rootstock, soil, sun exposure, and so on.” Earlier this year, he also lead a group of 16 students on a 2-week educational immersion trip through Portugal and Spain to learn about winemaking, viticulture, and the general culture of the winegrowing regions of Douro, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Priorat, and Penedès.

August of 2006 will find Runnebaum traveling to France to begin an International Internship in Burgundy. He will first spend three weeks in Paris, participating in an intensive language program that will help prepare him for his work in Chambolle-Musigny at Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier; a family winemaking estate created in 1863. The estate produces five wines from Pinot Noir, covering three levels of appellation: village, Premier Cru and Grand Cru. Runnebaum expects to spend more than two months working the harvest at Mugnier before wrapping up his experience with tours through Bordeaux, Rhone, and Champagne regions of France.

“This scholarship provides more than the much needed monetary funds to pay for my education, but also a link to exceptional role models, both in Michael Bonaccorsi as well as his friends and family who generously established this scholarship in memory of him.” Stated scholarship recipient, Ron Runnebaum.