Tom Collins to lead American Society for Enology and Viticulture

Tom Collins sets up a smoke trial next to a wine orchard.
Tom Collins sets up his first smoke trials in 2017.

Washington State University Assistant Professor Tom Collins has been confirmed as president of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) for 2021 – 2022.

ASEV is a professional society dedicated to the interests of viticulturists, enologists, and scientists who work in grape growing and wine production. Formed in 1950, ASEV’s membership includes 1,600 members from wineries, vineyards, and academic institutions worldwide.

“It’s a big deal, personally, for me to get to this step,” said Collins, who has been a member of ASEV for nearly 30 years and served in leadership for a decade.

Known nationally for his work with smoke exposure and how it affects wine fermentation, Collins will lead the 12-member ASEV board while continuing research at WSU on analytical chemistry in wine and distilled spirits.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Tom for many years and it is an honor to have him as President,” said Dan Howard, executive director of ASEV. “He is brilliant, thoughtful, and a consistent voice of reason for ASEV. We are incredible thankful for his service and we look forward to working with Tom during his presidency.”

Through ASEV meetings, programming, and networking, Collins plans to take on challenges currently faced by the Washington wine industry, such as smoke exposure, as well as difficulties faced by vintners marketing wine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Closeup of Tom Collins
Tom Collins

“A big goal is to get people energized, and back to meeting in person,” he said.

Of the current 12 member ASEV board, four are WSU faculty members. Michelle Moyer, associate professor and Extension viticulturist, currently serves as second vice president. Chateau Ste. Michelle Distinguished Professor Markus Keller is science editor, while James Harbertson, associate professor of enology, serves as technical program director.

“We’ve learned a lot in the last 18 months on how to engage with our membership in different, meaningful ways, and also what is fundamental to our traditions,” said Moyer. “Under Tom’s leadership next year, I expect we will see more of that blend – the ability to revisit what we love about meeting in person, and on-demand learning through webinars and new programs. It’s an exciting time to be part of ASEV.”

Collins said his appointment is the culmination of his service to ASEV and reflects the strength of the Viticulture & Enology program at WSU.

“Taking responsibility for leadership positions in the industry reflects that we have great people, and that we’re doing great things for the industry.”

To learn more about Collins’ work and the Viticulture & Enology program, visit the WSU Wine Science website.

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