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Jacob Tannenbaum

About Jacob

  • Field and focus area of study: Food Science and Technology, Viticulture and Enology
  • Hometown: Long Island, New York.
  • Fun fact: It takes around 2.6 pounds of grapes to make one bottle of wine.
  • View Jacob's LinkedIn profile

What were you doing prior to your degree program?

I was working as Assistant Winemaker in a winery located in the Upper Galilee, Northern Israel.

What were the biggest obstacles you had to overcome in order to participate in the MPS program?

The Graduate Record Examinations were challenging. I studied for countless hours and took the exam twice.

Why did you choose to pursue the MPS degree?

As a budding winemaker, I realized that to truly understand the process of vinification, I needed to gain knowledge about the chemistry and microbiology of fermentation. I believe that winemaking should be a balanced mix of ancient tradition and science.

What did you do after earning your MPS degree?

I am the Enologist/Winemaker at LUERIA Winery in the Upper Galilee and I consult for a relatively new winery in northern Israel called Tabernacle (established 2016).

What are the strengths of your program, in your opinion?

Professor Patrick Gibney’s wine microbiology course really helped me expand my knowledge regarding yeast and bacteria metabolism. This course examines the interactions and growth of wine microbes during wine fermentation and connects the sciences of horticulture, microbiology and chemistry. Courses on wine and grape flavor chemistry and wine and grape composition and analysis, taught by Professor Gavin Sacks, are a highlight of the program and extremely valuable. The information was directly applicable to many aspects of vinification such as laboratory analysis, flavor chemistry and many other complex topics regarding wine fermentation science.

What were some of the most rewarding moments while in your MPS program?

The atmosphere of the program was very encouraging for growth and success. I enjoyed learning about a wide variety of beverage fermentation topics relating to grapes and wine such as brewing and distillation. The connections and guidance received by my professors were the most rewarding moments.

What are your short term and long term career goals?

My short-term career goal is to gain more experience in the wine industry as an Enologist, Viticulturist and Winemaker. My long-term career goal is to launch my own wine label.


What advice would you give to your younger self embarking on the journey of graduate school?

Don’t be so stressed out all the time. Exercise more often. Eat healthy.

How has your MPS experience changed you, both personally and professionally?

The experience was transformative. Accomplishing this degree gave me the confidence to succeed in any task or analysis in the wine industry. Personally, I feel proud to stand as a Cornell graduate. I will always be grateful for the guidance received by my professors.

What professional organizations are you involved in?

I am a member of the Western New York division of the Institute of Food Technologists (WNYIFT), and the National Association of Flavors and Food-Ingredient Systems.