Charles “Chik” Brenneman, winemaker and facility manager for the Department of Viticulture and Enology, oversees all winemaking operations and has been an invaluable partner with the faculty in creating UC Davis’ world-renowned research and teaching program and facilities. In October at the 2017 College Celebration he was honored among staff with the CA&ES Award of Distinction.
Chik’s position requires a unique blend of skills: helping in the management of the vineyards at UC Davis and the Oakville Research Station, scheduling grape harvest for teaching and research projects, overseeing the making of research wines, instructing students and industry professionals, producing special wines for industry short courses, maintaining two bottled wine collections, operating the winery’s analytical laboratory, and supervising a small army of students.
After earning his UC Davis master’s degree in food science with a concentration in enology, Chik gained 10 years of practical winemaking experience at several Northern California wineries. In 2006 he accepted his current position at a time when the university was planning and developing its new winery at the Davis campus. Chik says helping design the winery has been the highlight of his career.
V&E faculty members Linda Bisson, David Block, Roger Boulton, Hildegarde Heymann and Andrew Waterhouse submitted the following comment: “Chik has provided a level of enthusiastic participation and effective contributions far beyond that expected of his position as we planned, constructed, equipped, started and operated the new LEED Platinum Teaching and Research Winery and Jackson Sustainable Winery Building.”
Congratulations to Chik for his well-deserved award!