Tucker Mattern wants to make a positive influence on the wine industry, especially as far as climate change is concerned.
“I think the industry is set up to make changes that other industries can follow, giving it an influential power and a real chance to make a difference,” he says. “I would like to be a part of that. I see myself having a lifelong career in viticulture and winemaking.”
Tucker, who’s studying for a Master of Wine and Viticulture, comes from a small farming community in Ukiah, California.
“I grew up working in viticulture but it wasn’t until I stepped away from it for several years that I realised I greatly missed the balance of outdoor work and the challenge of farming,” he says. “I am preparing to work as a winemaker for a reputable brand, ideally with influence in both viticulture and winemaking.”
He came to Lincoln because he wanted to learn more about cooler climate varieties. The university is home to plenty of expertise in this area, having established the first tertiary-level cool climate wine programme in the English-speaking world.
“I was also trying to obtain a science degree with a good reputation,” he says. “It seemed that Lincoln had a well-established viticulture and oenology programme and offered the courses that might broaden my knowledge of wine and viticulture.”
Tucker is particularly impressed by the lecturers and professors he works with.
“It is truly wonderful to learn from them.”
He also says that studying at Lincoln is helping him to grow by building his self-confidence in the sciences.
“I have come from a lot of relevant experience but my previous degree was in the arts, so it took a lot of courage and work to get used to the change in learning style. Knowing that I have the ability to do it if I put in the time and effort is becoming a part of who I am now.”
He loves spending time in the outdoors, surfing and running in the mountains.
“Family is what got me into the viticulture industry so that is a huge part of my life as well,” he says. “Good wine, good food and good people is the recipe for a good time.”