Viticulture and Enology Chairman Named

Mr. David Straley has been selected chairman of the Viticulture and Enology program at Arkansas Tech University – Ozark Campus.

After eighteen years in Northern California in the Culinary Arts as a professional chef Mr. Straley transitioned into a career in the California Wine Industry, primarily as a viticulturist.  Encouraged and motivated by Dr. Steve Kreb’s of Napa Valley College, Napa, CA, David caught the grape growing and winemaking bug studying Viticulture and Winery Technology.

David continued his education in California’s Central Valley completing coursework in plant science, production viticulture and enology at California State University Fresno.  David worked in viticulture for Gallo Sonoma and Sterling Vineyards in Napa Valley and in wine production at Rombauer Vineyards.

Opportunity and curiosity for cold climate viticulture and winemaking led David to employment in Washington State’s Yakima and Columbia Valleys and in Southwestern Idaho where he worked in a USDA wine grape research program at Parma, ID.  David has worked side by side and in collaboration with some of the top viticulturists and wine makers in California and the Pacific Northwest.

In 2003 David returned to Fort Worth, TX, his hometown to help care for his elderly mother.  For the past six years David has operated a viticulture and vineyard consulting business in Texas.   David has been a member of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (TWGGA) since 2005.  Several of David’s clients are now in their fifth and sixth year of grape production, making commercial wine or selling their grape crop to wineries.  David’s recent experience, especially in East Teas previewed the American and French hybrid grapes varieties that have had generations of success in Arkansas.

David looks forward to meeting many Arkansans and sharing his knowledge and experience in order to promote and grow the Arkansas Wine Industry.