Cal Poly Pomona’s latest Horsehill Vineyards vintage, a 2016 Zinfandel rosé, received gold medal recognition at the 2017 Los Angeles International Wine Competition.
The annual event showcases the finest domestic and international vintages and is widely considered one of the most prestigious in the country. This year, 3,002 wines were received from 990 producers in 17 countries, and 661 submissions received gold medals.
Horsehill Vineyards is a partnership between Cal Poly Pomona’s Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture, The Collins College of Hospitality Management and South Coast Winery.
The Zinfandel grapes are grown at the university’s on-campus vineyards with Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture students involved in all aspects of grape production and harvesting. The wine is bottled and produced by South Coast Winery in Temecula and then delivered to Cal Poly Pomona to be marketed and sold by students of The Collins College of Hospitality Management and the Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch.
Staying true to Cal Poly Pomona’s learn by doing mantra, the entire project is very hands-on. The plant science program helps students understand what is behind the work they perform in the vineyards, and the hospitality management program teaches students the business side of the wine industry.
“Understanding the science allows for us to not only obtain quality fruit one season, but to create a program in the field that will allow us to harvest quality grapes season after season,” says plant science student Mario Escobar, who works in the university’s Huntley Vineyard, pruning the vines, thinning the shoots and maintaining the irrigation system.
The rosé is poured and sold by the bottle at The Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch, which is managed and operated by students of The Collins College of Hospitality Management, and at the university’s Farm Store.
“We are excited to present and pour or own wine at Cal Poly Pomona,” says hospitality management student Rachel Watts. “Guests are always eager to taste the fruits of our labor.”