Department of Viticulture and Enology
MPP Staff and Director
Dr. Stephan Sommer
Director, Viticulture & Enology Research Center, Fresno State
PhD Microbiology and Wine Science, Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany (Magna cum laude)
Engineering diploma, Beverage Technology, Hochschule Geisenheim University, Germany
Office: Viticulture & Enology Building
Brief Introductory Statement
Dr. Stephan Sommer joined Fresno State's viticulture and enology program in the Spring of 2019 as the Director of the Viticulture and Enology Research Center (VERC). Prior to this, he was the academic program director and an Assistant Professor of Fermentation Sciences at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. He brings more than eight years industry experience in various fields of beverage production including wineries, sparkling wine companies, breweries, table water production, and related fields like laboratories and industrial flavor production. Dr. Sommer managed a commercial beverage laboratory and was involved in research projects and student education for the German wine industry before coming to the USA in 2013.
His main research focus is on physical product stability, beverage microbiology, and wine aging. In his position at Fresno State he will emphasize and further develop research in the areas of grape growing, wine chemistry, and wine production. In addition, he will coordinate laboratory work, supervise student research projects, and engage in a rigorous grant writing and scientific research program.