Anna Katharine Mansfield is an Associate Professor of Enology and Associate Director of Cornell AgriTech (formally the New York State Agriculture Experiment Station) in Geneva, NY. As an Associate Professor of Food Science, Professor Mansfield has led craft beverage research, extension, and education programming for producers across the state since 2009. Her research efforts focus in particular on projects designed to help regional and small-scale wineries improve wine quality and enhance production efficiency. This applied work involves enology extension, wine sensory evaluation, and research on hybrid wine phenolics and fermentation nutrition. After 12 years at Cornell, Professor Mansfield was appointed Associate Director of AgriTech in April 2021. She earned a B.A. from Salem College, an M.S. from Virginia Tech, and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where she served as the first Enology Project leader from 2001 to 2008.
Ever wanted to develop your own wine, beer, or even kombucha? Or be able to describe specific tastes and profiles in a variety of drinks?
In recent years, craft beverages have become a multibillion-dollar industry, yet there's both an art and a science to the fermentation process that produces these beverages. Fermentation is about more than ingredients. The processes that the brewer, vintner, cider maker, and mead maker follow have an equally large impact on the final product — and small variations can make a big difference in the flavor profile. Using a scientific approach, you will design a craft beverage of your choosing. As you create a plan to produce the beverage, you will gain an understanding of the interactions between raw ingredients and processing steps which together influence the taste. You will then apply a systematic approach to tasting, using your senses to allow you to better articulate what you enjoy in a particular beverage as well as make specific recommendations to others.
When you complete this program, you will have designed your own craft beverage and gained the building blocks needed to develop it.
This program is intended for use by persons of legal drinking age under the relevant applicable laws where they reside. Purchase of supplies is required to enjoy the highly experiential nature of this course.
Key Course Takeaways
- Examine the fermentation process through hands-on experimentation
- Predict how yeast will behave based on available food and environmental conditions
- Design a craft beverage
- Taste and evaluate fermented beverages such as wine, beer, and cider using sight, smell, and taste in order to make informed recommendations
How It Works
Mr. Gerling thinks craft beverages are a wonderful combination of agriculture, art, science, and forklift operation. He first caught the wine bug as a senior in college, and after a few years of working in vineyards, wineries, laboratories, and vineyard and winery laboratories, he realized it was starting to look like a career. Arriving at his post in extension and preparing to help people make wine, the first call he received was about fermenting cider to distill into vodka. He now realizes that it was the future calling.
Chris is currently a Senior Extension Associate in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University, where he works with the craft beverage industry to create educational programs that support the growth and improved quality of premium wines, ciders, and distilled spirits. He also organizes and conducts workshops and seminars that focus on production and analytical techniques for farm-based beverages. Chris is the past chair of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture/Eastern Section and serves on the ASEV national chapter’s laboratory proficiency committee. He is a member of the Cider Institute of North America’s executive committee.
Who Should Enroll
- Craft brewers
- Craft beverage enthusiasts and hobbyists
- Specialty grocers and wine/beer retailers
- Foodservice professionals and bartenders
- Growers, farmers, and supply chain professionals
- Food and beverage writers