The Gilmer Mirror
Success in the wine industry starts with scientific knowledge, and McClendon credits UT Tyler for giving that to him.
Michael McClendon prefers to taste wine in the afternoon sunrays on the veranda overlooking the vineyards.
He has left his goggles and white coat in the laboratory but remains in scientific mode, with his notebook, checklist and pen in hand. He tilts his wine glass, gently swirls the deep red liquid, takes a sip, and swishes it in his mouth to absorb all the flavors.
“You want to taste in a fairly comfortable setting, because that’s where most people are going to be drinking or enjoying wine,” McClendon said.
McClendon finds his daily tasting exercise doubly satisfying, because the wine is the fruit of his scientific labor. As enologist and winemaker at Kiepersol Enterprises, the largest estate-grown winery in the state of Texas, he has played an integral role in the company’s award-winning wines.
“A lot of times, I have to really sit back in appreciation and awe,” said McClendon, who graduated from The University of Texas at Tyler in 2009 with a bachelor of science degree in biology and minors in chemistry and Spanish. “I’m fortunate to be where I am.