An illustration of a bottle of wine pouring into a glass

Big Red (and White): 2022 Alumni Wine Collection Launches

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Now an annual tradition, the program showcases offerings by Cornellian-owned wineries

By Beth Saulnier

Wineries in New York and Oregon have been tapped for this year’s Big Red celebration of the grape. Now in its fifth year, the annual Alumni Wine by Cornell Alumni Affairs collection comprises two offerings—one red, one white—by Cornellian-owned establishments, chosen from a field of candidates submitted the previous spring.

Catherine Fallis holding a glass of wine
Fallis's honors include membership in Les Dames d'Escoffier, comprising women leaders in food, beverage, and hospitality.

Continuing the theme, the winners are selected by an alumni expert—this year, Hotelie Catherine Fallis ’83.

The fifth woman ever to be named a Master Sommelier, Fallis runs the consulting firm Planet Grape, which also hosts a wine review site.

Author of Ten Grapes to Know: The Ten and Done Wine Guide, she boasts an intriguing resume line: she’s one of the world’s few female sabreurs, adept at wielding a sword to open a bottle of Champagne.

And to add to the collection’s Big Red ethos, the bottles feature art by a Cornell grad.

The 2022 labels sport abstract paintings evoking Ithaca’s gorges by Barbara Mink, MA ’85, a local artist who also teaches management communication in the Johnson School.

(The white’s label was inspired by Ithaca Falls, the red’s by Treman State Park.)

The wines can be ordered in increments of three to 48 bottles, with the white priced at $28 per bottle and the red at $32. Weather permitting, they’ll begin shipping in mid-October.

White: Trestle Thirty One 2021 Riesling

Fallis calls the wine “light, refreshing, and sweet-tart, with notes of green apple, peach, and lime zest.”

Established in nearby Geneva, NY, in 2015, Trestle Thirty One is owned by CALS alum Nova McCune Cadamatre ’06 and her husband.

A photo of Nova Cadamatre in a vineyard
Cadamatre majored in plant science on the Hill.

Cadamatre has extensive experience in the winemaking industry, both in New York and California’s Napa Valley.

The first female winemaker in the U.S. to become a Master of Wine, she has been honored with a spot on Wine Enthusiast’s “40 under 40” list.

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"This unique and complex Riesling is sourced from vineyards across Cayuga, Seneca, and Keuka Lakes," Trestle Thirty One says of its Cornell offering.

"Predominantly stainless steel with a small percentage of Acacia barrel fermented Riesling, this wine captures the fruity pure essence of Finger Lakes Rieslings with a floral twist from the Acacia wood. It is off-dry with bright acid and a refreshing finish."

Red: Ruby Vineyard & Winery 2018 Pinot Noir

Located in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Ruby Vineyard & Winery is owned by Arts & Sciences alum Steve Hendricks ’76 (who traces his passion to the Hotel School’s Intro to Wines class his senior year) and his wife.

Two men surrounded by wine barrels
Hendricks (right) with Ruby's winemaker.

As the Alumni Wine site notes, they work on every aspect of their organic operation, “from driving the tractor to pouring flights for guests in the tasting room.”

Fallis describes Ruby's winning red as “light, tart, delicate, and dry, with notes of cranberry, raspberry, and vanilla.”

And the wine has an additional Cornell connection: some of its grapes come from Tre Figli Vineyards, owned by CALS grad Dave Musso ’81.

“Sharp and spicy, this Pinot Noir has a generous mix of brambly berry, forest floor, and peppery spice,” the winery says.

“It's showing a lightly chewy, tannic foundation and some gentle hints of chocolate trailing on the finish. It's balanced and enjoyable, and represents a good value in a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir from an excellent vintage.”

Top: Illustration by Cornell University. All photos in this story provided.

Published September 29, 2022


  1. Linda Cascio Engstrom, Class of 1966

    Good to know !..My husband and I are both Cornell grads…he is class of 1964, and majored in Engineering physics and I am class of 1966, majoring in housing and design! We grow Pinot Gris grapes on 12 acres in Oregon, planted in 1980’s after moving to Oregon in the 1970’s.we sell our grapes to Oak Knoll Winery, located near us just 20 miles Sw of Portland. We miss getting back to Cornell recently for reunions but hope to do so soon!

  2. Janis V Olson, Class of 1976

    You should let all the alumni who have wineries know to submit wines. We are in North Carolina and have won awards at the NC State Fair each year we have sent them in. Would love to have you try some of ours

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