Walla Walla CC hires new director of winemaking school

by | Jun 3, 2022 | News, Washington wine | 0 comments

Stylianos Logothetis, a native of Greece, will be the seventh director in the history of The Institute for Enology and Viticulture at Walla Walla Community College. (Photo courtesy of WWCC)

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — For the first time in the 22-year history of the program, Walla Walla Community College has gone outside of Washington state for the leader of its winemaking school by hiring Stylianos Logothetis, a winemaker who has taught fermentation science in Greece and Scotland.

On July 6, Logothetis will replace interim director Sabrina Lueck, who has accepted a position with Weingut Keller, a heralded German Riesling producer in the Rheinhessen.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is the professional growth of my students and their success in the careers that follow,” Logothetis said in a news release. “I am thrilled to be a member of the nationally celebrated Enology and Viticulture program at Walla Walla Community College.”

Logothetis will be the seventh director in the program’s history, following in the footsteps of founder Myles Anderson (educator, co-founder of Walla Walla Vintners), the late Stan Clarke (a beloved Yakima Valley viticulturist/winemaker/educator/writer), Valerie Fayette (marketing specialist from Ste. Michelle Wine Estates), Alan Busacca (Washington State University geology professor), Tim Donahue (winemaker) and Lueck.

According to WWCC, more than 400 students have graduated from The Institute of Enology and Viticulture. Although the students come from across the U.S., many of the program’s products find jobs in the Walla Walla Valley wine industry and throughout the Pacific Northwest. The school reported that more than half of the top-rated Washington wines recently reviewed by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate have been made by graduates of College Cellars. In 2019, their alumni and the program’s own wine program combined to earn more than 20 gold medals at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

The school noted that the duties of Logothetis at WWCC’s will include overseeing its estate vineyards — one named for Anderson and the other for Clarke. The school’s vineyard manager, Joel Perez also has left the college, according to Karl Easttorp, director of marketing and communications at Walla Walla CC, who added, “that particular position is not yet filled.”

Lueck, a student in the vaunted Master of Wine program and a graduate of Cornell University’s viticulture and enology school, has taught at Walla Walla CC since 2011. She has been serving as the program’s interim director since Donahue resigned in June 2021 to launch Horse Thief Wine Consulting.

Perez was hired to replace Jeff Popick, who retired in 2016. Not long after arriving, Perez appeared on the pages of Wine Enthusiast magazine as one of the monthly publication’s annual 40 Under 40 Tastemakers of 2017. Earlier this spring, the member of the U.S. Marine Corps and graduate of WSU’s viticulture program began working for the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Rapid Response Team and while growing his Vine Advancement LLC consulting business, headquartered in Richland. 

Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the construction Anderson oversaw of the school’s 15,000-square-foot educational and production facility on campus. The first graduate of Anderson’s program was Chris Peterson, who went straight to the cellar at famed DeLille Cellars prior to launching Avennia and kicking off Passing Time.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Logothetis most recently has been living in New York City working both as a consultant to wineries in Greece looking to enter the U.S. market as well as serving as the general manager of a Greek restaurant in Manhattan.

He received a bachelor’s degree in enology and spirits technology from Athens University in 1995 and spent a decade in the production of Greek wines. Along the way, Logothetis added a master’s in philosophy from Abertay University in Scotland and a doctorate in yeast physiology and fermentation biotechnology. His résumé lists 10 years as an adjunct lecturer at Technological Educational Institute of Athens, a school with more than 26,000 students and 1,000 staff.

“As director of the Institute for Enology and Viticulture, I will bring all of my expertise and passion for wine education and production to the students, my colleagues and the Walla Walla Valley wine community,” Logothetis said.

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the President and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for a decade. He is a frequent wine judge at international wine competitions throughout North America and orchestrates 10 Northwest competitions each year.

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