After completing his undergraduate degree in Chemistry, Fernando Ferreira Regueral packed his bags and traveled to California from his home country Spain. “I was finishing up my undergraduate degree and I wasn’t sure where I wanted to work. But then the winery came into my life. Because of this experience, I decided to return to Spain to pursue my PhD in Chemistry. When wine came into my life through this internship, I instantly knew this is what I wanted to do,” said Fernando. Through the professional and personal connections made and the knowledge gained, Fernando left California with a passion for wine and a new career path.
Fernando has now returned every vintage since during his PhD program as an intern. “In Spain, things are really bad. Internships are not paid and for me now, I will finish my PhD and continue to intern with CAEP to gain more experience and use what I am learning”
“For my PhD program, I am currently developing a biosensor to check the quality of wines. Right now, when a laboratory wants to check the bacteria of the wines, they have to send their samples to outside laboratories, which can take days. This will be a really cheap and easy option for wineries. I got this idea from working at wineries. I have been talking to my boss a lot about these analyses. I am hoping once my sensor is finished, I can come back and test it at the winery in California!”
“Most of the day we are sampling at the cellar and then we go back to the lab to analyze the juice. On an average day, we can test up to 100,000 barrels a day in the lab. Some of my daily duties at the winery include taking samples and then working in the lab with the samples we took. The staff makes a point to show us the good and bad samples so we can learn. My host family is like my family from America. They take us out to dinner, to the ocean, fishing– it was awesome! I just love them! I also live with another girl from Brazil. “
Fernando is interning for Jackson Family Wine in Santa Rosa, California. “The winery is very, very big. And I have so many friends at the winery. They are like family! Plus I live so close to the winery I can ride my bike!”