​Winery Provides Student with Interdepartmental Internship Experience 

Written by Kendell Combs, Junior, Agribusiness Management & Agricultural Communication

For the past six months, Madison Porter (Senior; Agribusiness Management; Saint John, IN) has been the Grower Relations Intern for E. & J. Gallo Winery, which is located in Lodi, California. E. & J. Gallo Winery was founded in 1933 and is the leading U.S Winery and exporter of California Wines. Madison’s responsibilities of being a Grower Relations Intern has taught her a variety of skills. Her focus was on pest and disease scouting in the vineyards. Additionally, Madison sugar tested grapes to analyze their sugar content and she mapped vineyards using a Geographic Information System (GIS). During her internship, she was able to shadow different departments of the company and participate in wine sensory trainings as well.

“I think the most interesting thing I learned during my internship was the amount of work put into harvest season.” This internship was Madison’s first harvest and it gave her a better understanding of the importance of every department’s role. With physically harvesting grapes and conducting research, Madison feels confident in being able to apply her knowledge of production in agriculture to a future career in the industry.

During Madison’s time in California, she was fortunate enough to have the opportunity of visiting multiple areas and this allowed her to experience the different dynamic of life in California compared to Indiana. Reflecting on her travels, she found it hard to pick a favorite place. She was able to narrow it down to Highway 1 at Big Sur, the 90-mile stretch of rugged and beautiful coastline between Carmel and San Simeon. Highway 1 winds along its length, with one side of it being the Santa Lucia Mountains and on the other being the rocky Pacific Coast. She said that the view was incredible, and something you will never see in Indiana. 

“I have wanted to pursue a career in the wine industry and thanks to Purdue University and E. & J. Gallo Winery, I have gained hands-on experience to apply in my future.” Madison is grateful for her experiences and meeting so many great people during her internship. E. & J. Gallo Winery’s passion for quality, drive for success, and family-like atmosphere provided Madison with an opportunity to grow and appreciate those qualities of a business.


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