Campus: CSU Fresno -- February 06, 2002
Donor Provides Gift For Nation's First College Wine Barrel House at CSU Fresno
Boswell gift will help with storage, production and oak research, education
A state-of-the-art barrel house that is the first of its kind on a college
campus is now under construction at the California State University, Fresno
Winery thanks to a nearly quarter-million dollar gift from the Boswell
Foundation and World Cooperage, one of the top producers of American,
French and Eastern European oak barrels in the wine industry.
World Cooperage officials John Boswell, chief executive officer; his son,
Brad Boswell, president; and daughter, Amie Boswell Dewane, marketing
manager, all trustees of the Boswell Foundation, arranged the donation
to Fresno State for what will be called the "World Cooperage Barrel
Dr. Daniel Bartell, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology,
announced the Boswell's $230,000 donation to the university's Viticulture
and Enology programs at a press conference this morning.
He was joined by two of the donors, Brad and Amie Boswell, and Fresno
State President John D. Welty as well as administrators, faculty and students.
Bartell said the new "World Cooperage Barrel House" will provide
the opportunity for education and research on the effects of oak in the
wine making process.
"This is yet another outstanding example of how the industry has
stepped up to help us provide excellent learning opportunities for our
students and strengthen our position as the most comprehensive Viticulture/Enology
program in the United States if not the world," said Bartell.
The barrel house, which is expected to be complete in early March, will
hold 150 barrels of wine, which is approximately 9,000 gallons, Bartell
Presently the winery is capable of producing 50,000 gallons but only produces
half - 25,000 gallons - because of limited storage. The Boswells chose
Fresno State for the donation because it is the only university in the
nation that operates a commercial winery.
"Funding a new barrel house at Fresno State was an opportunity for
our family to give back to an industry that we are very proud to be a
part of," Brad Boswell said. "The barrel house will be a great
tool for training students in winemaking and it will be used extensively
for research related to the endless pursuit of excellence in winemaking,"
The structure will be 1,600 square feet and 30 feet high and includes
a state of the art humidity control system designed by Refrigeration Technology
Inc. of Cloverdale as a partial donation. Founded in 1912, World Cooperage
has offices in the West Coast, Australia, Europe and South America.
In addition to being one of the top producers of American, French and
Eastern European oak barrels in the wine industry, World Cooperage owns
and operates stave mills in France, Bulgaria and Missouri, including the
premier tight grain forests of the Ozarks. Today, World Cooperage markets
its products in more than 20 countries and produce more than 50 percent
of the barrels made in the world.
The company works with a variety of wood sources and conducts experiments
and studies with research specialists, winemakers, master distillers and
universities throughout the world, researching all elements that contribute
flavor and aroma to wine.
Along with the $230,000 donation to build the structure, World Cooperage
also will supply barrels and other materials for the production of premium
quality wines as well as the opportunity for faculty and students to conduct
Dr. Robert Wample, chair of the Viticulture and Enology Department and
director of the Viticulture and Enology Research Center (VERC), said the
barrel house will not only help in the process of winemaking but it will
also increase students' education in wine processing.
"It will provide students with a better education and they will have
more skills entering the work force," Wample said. "Students
will learn how to manage a barrel room and be given a chance to research
the effects of oak in the winemaking process."
Construction of the barrelhouse began in November and is expected to be
completed in March, Wample said.
Fresno State is the only university in the nation that is licensed to
produce, bottle and sell wine commercially. For the past three years,
the program has received top honors at North America's largest wine judging
event, the California State Fair Wine Competition.
For more information about the Department of Viticulture and Enology,
or contact Wample or Winemaster Kenneth Fugelsang at (559) 278-2089.