Student Profile: Allison Badar

Allison Badar

Student Standing: Freshman/Sophomore/Junior/Senior/Graduate etc. 
Second-year Graduate Student 

Degree/Focus/interest areas: 
My research is focused on the remediation of smoke impact in wine, and I am working in the Oberholster Lab. I am using Molecularly Imprinted Polymers to remove Volatile Phenols from wine as a treatment option for wildfire smoke impact.  

Where are you from originally?  
I grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota! 

What brought you to UC Davis? 
When I decided I wanted to make a career in the wine industry, I looked at all the women I admired who had jobs I thought I wanted. A vast majority of them went to UC Davis, so I started down the path to complete my prerequisites to get myself here. As I was working on getting to Davis, the fires in 2017 and 2020 in Napa were at the forefront of a lot of conversation. With my passion for the environment and mitigating the effects of climate change, I knew I wanted to be part of the research on climate-related topics facing the wine industry.  

What do you enjoy the most about studying in this program? 
The community! Students are extremely collaborative and curious about various aspects of the industry. Organizations like DEVO and Women in Wine do a great job of putting together programming that supports learning and building those relationships that will last us into our careers. We can practice what we are learning in real time with operations like the DEVO Vineyard, which I got to work on all summer with other students.  

Have you interned at a winery/vineyard management company?  If so, tell us about your experience. 
I worked at an urban winery in Fort Worth, Texas, which was a fun experience and had its unique challenges working with fruit that we grew in Alpine, Texas as well as purchased fruit from California. It was small-scale and scrappy, and it was fun to get a taste of what is still to come from grape growing and winemaking in states like Texas.  

What are your plans after you graduate?  
I am planning to be a harvest intern this fall at Bedrock Wine Co in Sonoma, CA, then I will harvest-hop around the globe for several years in various winemaking regions.  

What is one unique thing about you? 
My undergraduate degree is a BFA in Dance, so making wine is a second career for me. Studying dance gave me the opportunity to travel to Vancouver, Boston, Chicago, New York, and Tel Aviv (to name a few) to dance and perform at various points in my career.  Because of these experiences, I found a love of how universal human experiences (like movement--or taste!) can unite people from many cultures. I think that's part of the reason I fell deeply in love with wine--It too can be experienced by all, while maintaining a unique sense of place.