Emeritus Professor of Enology
Richard Vine was born and raised in the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York. As a teenager, he worked with his grandfather making vineyard trellis posts. After a hitch in the U.S. Navy he returned home in 1958 and began his winemaking career at the Pleasant Valley Wine Company (Great Western) in Hammondsport. First a cellar worker and then a laboratory technician, he spent evenings earning a science degree at nearby Corning Community College. In 1965 Vine was promoted to winemaker and assumed responsibility for more than six million bottles of annual wine production. In 1973 he became Vice President of Production at Warner Vineyards in Michigan. Four years later he accepted a research position at Mississippi State University where he earned his bachelor's and doctorate degrees and wrote the first of four academic wine books.
Richard Vine came to Purdue in 1991 to fill their initial professor of enology position, and retired in 2004. He was well-known as the instructor of Purdue's wine appreciation course (FS 470). In 1999 Purdue dedicated a wine library in his name at the Nelson Hall of Food Science. He also was the wine consultant for American Airlines for 21 years. In 2007, he and Ellen Butz (Harkness) established Vintage Winery Consultants to help new and established wineries determine their analytical and quality control needs, assemble the equipment, and train winemakers to be proficient QC managers.