Viticulture & Enology Student Research Spotlight: Abelardo L. Rodriguez Cetto
Senior Abelardo L. Rodriguez Cetto picked the perfect university to carry on his family tradition as a fourth-generation grape grower and winemaker.
Fresno State's reputation as a hands-on training ground is unmatched, thanks to its viticulture and enology academic & research programs & the nation's largest (& oldest) university winery.
His dedication to education was obvious before he stepped on campus as he spent two hours traveling each way to school every day from his home in Baja, California to San Diego.
Learn more about this hard-working, Jordan College Honors Cohort member and first-generation college graduate in this recent interview.
Q: What attracted you to Fresno State?
Rodriguez Cetto: "I chose our viticulture and enology program because of the hands-on experience it offers. I have also been fortunate to volunteer at the Fresno State Winery since my freshman year."
Q: What types of ag-related clubs are you involved with on campus?
Rodriguez Cetto: "I was president and vice-president of the Enology Society of Fresno, and am also a campus viticulture club member."
Q: Have you received any type of Jordan College scholarships?
Rodriguez Cetto: "I am thankful to have received many scholarships, such as the Ag One-Allied Grape Growers-Robert 'Bob' McInturf Scholarship, AG One-Ross Borba, Sr. Family Scholarship, California State University, Fresno Viticulture Club Scholarship, Harry and Nevart Moordigian Scholarship, John and Rose and Charles and Rose Garabedian Scholarship, and The Marc Radin Agricultural Scholarship at Fresno State."
Q: Have you had any internships or part-time jobs, and what types of jobs & tasks did you do generally?
Rodriguez Cetto: "I was involved with a USDA-ARS grapevine genetic research internship and as a research assistant with our Fresno State Viticulture and Enology Research Center with Dr. Pedroza & Dr. Sommer. I also worked as an enologist for Toca Madera Winery for their 2020 harvest."
Q: Describe your honors cohort research project and why you picked it?
Rodriguez Cetto: "The research involved testing the effect of sterile cellulose pad filtration in white wines. We specifically looked into the effect this filtration method and how it affects specific wine aroma compounds."
Rodriguez Cetto: "I chose this topic because it was of particular interest to me,
and I was not able to find previous research done on this topic. Cellulose pad filters
are used throughout the wine industry, and this research can help to assess whether
or not it is necessary to sterile filter a wine. If it is already stable and clear,
it might not be necessary to filter and lose some of those aroma compounds."
Q: Which faculty members are you working with, and what type of guidance are they giving you?
Rodriguez Cetto: "I am lucky to have worked with Dr. Stephan Sommer, and he has been a great mentor in this project. He helped me to develop the experiment as a whole, acquire materials, and perform lab analysis. I really appreciated how much he encouraged me to critically think about all aspects of the project."
Q: What are some of the most important things you've learned from this research?
Rodriguez Cetto: "This project will greatly help me in my upcoming years during my master’s program, as I will definitely be using all these skills do my research thesis. Some specific things that I've learned include: 1) the effect of filtration on wine aromas, 2) the use of aroma producing enzymes in winemaking, 3) writing academic papers, 4) protocol for research, 5) being ready for sudden changes which are out of your control."
Q: After graduation, what's your potential next career step?
Rodriguez Cetto: "I have already been accepted at The University of Adelaide in Australia and the viticulture and enology masters program starts mid-July."