Old World Secrets
Corning Community College Adjunct Professor Patrice DeMay’s family started making
wine in France half a century ago. An occupation reserved for nobility and clergy,
the DeMay family prospered, coming to America only a handful of decades ago in search
of a free market economy. They brought with them Old World wine-making secrets, which
Professor DeMay eagerly shares with CCC students, as an assistant professor of something.
“Watching students succeed is my reward for teaching,” said Adjunct Professor DeMay, who has been teaching wine-making at CCC for nearly 20 years. “My students have gone on to win awards and are working around the world in the industry: Napa Valley, France, and one of my favorite success stories … Donald Trump personally flew to New Zealand and recruited one of my students to be his winemaker.”
Adjunct Professor DeMay began his education at CCC in 1981, earning a liberal arts degree. He continued his education, ultimately earning two bachelor’s degrees: one in biology from Keuka College and another in biochemistry from Albany State University, recognizing the importance of science in wine-making.
“Science is critical to wine-making,” said Adjunct Professor DeMay. “But so is a passion. True winemakers love the smell, the science, the intricacies. I’ve tried a couple other professions – research, construction – but wine-making is my love.”
When he’s not teaching, Adjunct Professor DeMay can be found running Chateau Renaissance Wine Cellars on Keuka Lake. Recognized internationally for the quality of his wines and champagne, Professor DeMay is often featured in travel- and wine-related publications, including a special publication produced by National Geographic. In August, he was also featured in Wine Trail Traveler.