Thank you to all our 2021 presenters.
Winemaker, Bedell Cellars
Richard Olsen-Harbich has worked in the Long Island wine industry since 1981 and is a leader in establishing regional identity and vinification techniques for the region. After graduating from Cornell University in 1983, he worked to establish Long Island’s second commercial winery in Bridgehampton, where he was among the first to market Long Island wines to New York City.
Over the past 40 years he has assisted in implementing pioneering techniques for Long Island vineyards while also consulting for many wineries in the Eastern United States. He is the author all three federally recognized Long Island American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) and in 1997, developed the first Bordeaux/Long Island consultation partnership with M. Paul Pontallier of Chateau Margaux. Since 1995 he has been on the advisory board for the Cornell University’s Wine Grape Research program based in Riverhead, N.Y. In 2004 he helped found the Long Island Merlot Alliance – the first wine quality alliance on Long Island. In 2012 he was one of the founders of the East Coast’s only sustainable certification program – Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing and in 2015 helped to start the Long Island Latino Vintners Association. Today as winemaker at Bedell Cellars, his work is dedicated to producing delicious hand-crafted wines through the exploration and identification of local terroir and perfecting the art of sustainable and natural winemaking techniques.
Dr. Erick Byrd and Samuel Troy
UNCG, Bryan School of Business and Economics
Consultant, Patty Held Consulting
Patty Held is a winery marketing consultant currently living and working in Hermann, the heart of Missouri wine country. Her Patty Held Winery Consulting business focuses on customer service training, winery marketing, websites, tasting room evaluations and wine trails.
Patty is the President of the Hermann Wine Trail, a successful wine trail selling over 6000 wine trail event tickets a year. She is an adjunct on-line instructor for VESTA, teaching Marketing for Small Wineries and Tasting Room Management. She does content management for several local clients in the Hermann area including email marketing, website content management, and social media.
Patty has a B.S. Enology degree from California State University, Fresno. She was winemaker at Taylor Wine Company in New York for 6 years, then returned to her family-owned winery, Stone Hill Winery, in Hermann, Missouri, where she was director of public relations and special events until she started her consulting company in 2009. She has been in the wine industry since the age of five, working with her family in all areas of the winery business.
Enology Instructor, Surry Community College
David Bower was hired as Surry Community College’s winemaker and enology instructor in 2012, overseeing the creation and distribution of the student-produced wine label, Surry Cellars, at the Shelton-Badgett North Carolina Center of Viticulture and Enology on the Dobson, N.C., campus in the heart of the Yadkin Valley American Viticultural Area. Under his leadership, the Surry Cellars label has won more than 75 medals including state, regional, national and international awards.
David is a leader of sparkling wine production in a community college setting. He also created the initiative for the inaugural Southeastern United Grape & Wine Symposium, now in its eighth year. David is a 2011 graduate from Cornell University with a B.S. in Plant Science and a B.S. in Viticulture and Enology. He earned an M.S. in Plant Science with a concentration in Winemaking from Missouri State University in 2018. A recipient of the Nelson J. Shaulis Award for the Advancement of Viticulture, David developed and completed a number of research initiatives at Cornell, including wine chemistry research, vine stress physiology research on Riesling, and methoxypyrazine research on Cabernet Franc. He also helped plant Cornell’s first organic vineyard and taught several classes there as a teaching assistant. David has worked as a winemaker and wine consultant for Lake Ontario Winery and Vineyards in western New York, planting the first vines and bottling the first vintages at the family-owned winery.
Viticulture Instructor, Surry Community College
Sarah Bowman joined the Surry Community College faculty as Viticulture Instructor in January 2018. In 2013, she received her M.S. in Horticulture from Southern Illinois University where she is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Agricultural Science.
Sarah was actively involved in the Illinois grape and wine industry for 10 years before relocating to North Carolina. During her time in the Midwest she co-managed a commercial vineyard, conducted educational workshops with the Illinois Grape Growers and Wine Makers Alliance, provided viticultural consulting services to regional growers and held the position of Illinois State Viticulturist.
In her teaching, she emphasizes the importance of understanding the biological systems and practical management decisions that support sustainable production of high quality winegrapes. She shares her knowledge and experience in a straightforward, approachable manner and is thrilled to be educating and training individuals with the curiosity and courage to pursue a career in wine.