Student Profile: Alberto Arduino

Alberto Arduino

 Degree/Focus/interest areas:
I am a second-year master's degree student in Viticulture and Enology. My main interest is the chemistry of wine. It just fascinates me. My research topic is focused on grape phenolic extractability and the development of a fast, easy, high-throughput method for its evaluation. 

Where are you from originally?
Turin, Piedmont, Italy 

What brought you to UC Davis? 
I studied V&E for my undergraduate degree in Turin and I heard the name UC Davis frequently. My professors would always reference research coming out of Davis and my wine chemistry classes mainly used Dr. Waterhouse’s book. After graduating, I knew I wanted to continue studying and pursue a master's degree. Davis was the obvious choice. I wanted to be part of the groundbreaking research happening here. I also wanted to take on the challenge of moving to the United States. So far, it’s been an incredible experience! I know there’s so much more to come. 

What do you enjoy the most about studying in this program? 
Having the opportunity to learn from the people who are changing the winemaking industry for the better makes me feel very lucky. I also really appreciate the extremely high quality of the facilities used for teaching and research. It’s amazing how much I learn working hands-on and being able to apply what was taught in class. Finally, the student-run organization DEVO is and has been like a big family to me. From the very first day I arrived, the people I met in this group have made me feel at home. I am blessed to be part of this community and to have known such amazing people who I’ll be able to call friends and coworkers for many years to come.

Have you interned at a winery/vineyard management company?  If so, tell us about your experience. 
I worked two harvests in Piedmont, Italy before starting at Davis. Harvest is busy and stressful at times because of the long shifts and short nights, but it’s always worth it. Every harvest I’ve formed new relationships in the cellar and vineyard that I cherish. I made friends, gained mentors, and grew up a lot, both as a person and as a worker.  

I spent this past harvest (2022) working on my Plan I research project. It was a very different experience from a commercial harvest, but I still count it as my third harvest. My project involved managing many micro-fermentations, which is a much smaller scale than I’ve ever worked with before. Despite this, it still felt like a traditional harvest with the early mornings and the fun moments I shared with my lab mates. 

What are your plans after you graduate? 
In the short term, I really want to work a harvest in California and see how everything I learned at Davis is applied in the industry. After that, harvest-hopping for a while has always been my wish and I hope to get a chance to do that. In the long run, going back to Europe is definitely a door I’ll keep open, but for right now that seems too far away to worry about. 

What is one unique thing about you? 
Although I was born and raised closer to the mountains, I feel a special connection with the ocean, and I miss it whenever I’m away for too long. Working a harvest on the coast or (even better) on an island is on my bucket list!