Destination: Domaine de la Romanee-Conti and Hospices de Beaune

James McCeney and Dan Person were awarded prestigious internships in Burgundy in 2009.

The winners of an intensely competitive and high-profile winemaking internship were publicly announced March 5, 2009 on the UC Davis campus. The two talented UC Davis viticulture and enology students selected will head to Burgundy, France this July to commence an educational adventure. The destination?  Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, the renowned Burgundian producer whose wines are among the most sought-after and costly in the world; and the Hospices de Beaune, a historic Burgundian hospital and vineyard whose famous annual wine auction benefits a host of charitable organizations. This year James McCeney (left in the photo) will be going to Hospices de Beaune and Dan Person (right in the photo) will be going to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

The four-month internships, supported by the The Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin Foundation, are made possible by a vibrant collaboration between UC Davis and the University of Dijon, Burgundy where Pascal Durand has been our key contact. Considered the “plum” internships at the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology, they afford the interns a prized immersion into the world of rarefied, high-profile French wine production. The Tastevin “Laureates” selected to intern at Domaine de la Romanee-Conti will be involved in not only the harvest wine production, but field sampling in vineyards before harvest; the Hospices de Beaune Laureate will be an integral member of the team of winemakers producing the celebrated cuvees for the Hospices annual charity wine auction in November.

Former students have interned at many of the excellent domaines in Burgundy, including for instance Domaine Dujac and Louis Jadot just to name two. The past student’s  excellent efforts, says Dr. Andrew Waterhouse of the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology, “paved the way” for this year’s prestigious placements. “The doors to these outstanding institutions were opened by our past interns,” says Waterhouse, “whose reputation for hard work and sound preparation made this opportunity possible for our 2009 Tastevin Laureates.”

Domestic and overseas harvest internships are an important component of the viticulture and enology educational experience at UC Davis, home to the premier winemaking department in the United States. Students, professors and future employers place high value on international internships like the Tastevin scholarship, which afford students critical, hands-on experience to help prepare them for today’s competitive, global wine economy. The majority of the students undertake an internship before full time employment and at least a third of each class works overseas in the first year after graduation. 

The awards were announced March 5th at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science on the UC Davis campus by Warner Henry, president of the U.S. Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin Foundation and president of The Henry Wine Group. For more details please contact Dr. Andrew Waterhouse, Department of Viticulture & Enology, UC Davis, (530) 752-0381; alwaterhouse@ucdavis.edu.

The wine business is a global enterprise and UC Davis is committed to graduating students
who see themselves as global citizens. The Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin Foundation helps provide the support necessary to ensure that each year two students are given the resources needed to study wine production and methods in Burgundy, France for three to four months. “Burgundy is special, made in a particular way; for a student to be able to work in France and study these methods is invaluable; not only to the student, but to the wine industry.”