Has it really been seven years?!?
For those of you who don’t know us, my wine interest began years ago and Mark caught the bug early in our marriage. My work transfer to Northern California in the late 90’s then opened the doors wide for wine exploration all over California and Oregon.
Fast-forward to late 2015 – we quit our jobs in California and moved to France for Mark to pursue a Masters in Vineyard and Winery Management at Bordeaux Sciences Agro, after which time we expected to return to dive into the wine world in southern Oregon. My calculation was three years – two for the masters and one to travel.
Yet after doing his master’s degree internship at the Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin (ISVV) in Bordeaux, he was offered the opportunity to continue and do his PhD with terroir expert Kees van Leeuwen and funding from LVMH/Moët Hennessey, studying the effects of climate change and drought on vineyard water use.
I remember the day Mark came home and said, “What would you think if I told you I want to stay and pursue a PhD?” I thought about it for a couple seconds before replying. “Wow, really?!?” We were really enjoying our time in France, and had no desire to leave… so why not?!
Mark’s prior involvement with water resources management at the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Control Resources Board, gave him an excellent platform from which to pursue a PhD studying how different grapevine varieties modify their water use in response to drought conditions.
(Scroll over the photos below for more information.)
So, in July this year, after nearly 4 years of hard work, Mark defended his thesis at the ISVV and I am ecstatic, and so proud, to share he passed!
This fall into winter was a hectic whirlwind of happy and crazy times. Nonetheless, we are glad to move forward with amazing memories and lifelong friends, and now, the next chapter in France. What will the Gowdy’s do next? Stay tuned!
We thank our amazing friends in France and in the States for the continued support and friendship. We wish everyone health and happiness in the new year!
What an unreal, unforgettable and terrific accomplishment. And to achieve all that in France. Hip Hip Horray! Talk about fulfilling one’s life journey. What a great lesson for anyone seeking purpose in their life. Say YES, accept the challenge, and opportunities will come. Congratulations Dr. Gowdy! 🍷 Yes, we can’t wait to see what happens next…
What a nice note Juan, we both appreciate it. We wouldn’t have it any other way – always accept that challenge!
Absolutely fantastic news and we never had any doubt! Meeting you two in person, the passion for wine (and intelligence level behind that passion) is abundantly clear. Huge congratulations on this fantastic milestone and we will toast you from afar until we can share a celebratory wine together.
Thanks for your kind words and that toast. I have a good feeling we will be able to share one together this coming year!
Congrats to Mark on getting his PhD!
Congratulation to the both of you!
Thanks you two, it’s been an exhilarating journey!
What a milestone! I can’t wait to hear what the Gowdys do next! Congratulations Mark! Cheers! (Here’s to an opportunity at some point to clink glasses in person!)
Thank you Robin, he’d love to clink with you in person and so would I!
Wow! Congratulations Dr. Mark! This is so great what you both have done. Yes what an accomplishment to get your pHd in France! Living the dream, for sure!
So happy for both of you to have figured out living abroad and advanced studies!
Many thanks! I’m not sure we totally figured it out but are thrilled to be over here expanding our horizons. Our door is open for you ☺️
Wow!! What an accomplishment!! You two are certainly living your best lives!! We love and miss you to pieces, especially during the holidays!! Xoxo
Can you believe it!?! Thanks a zillion and know our door is always open🥰
Congrats to Mark – great news!
This is truly a cause for celebration! Congratulations!
Thanks so much Lori, it certainly is, and then some☺️🎉
Great to hear the details, Lyn!!! I cant believe it was 2015 when you left. I lOVE that his PhD was funded by industry .
Kay back in SACTO
Ouuu, appreciate your note Kay, thank you! We cannot believe it either. It behooves industry (Hennessey) to work with the University, as the Cognac region makes more still wine from which Cognac is produced than all of Bordeaux.
Wow! Congrats to Mark! Amazing that it has been 7 years already, I so look forward to reconnecting with you guys, perhaps this year we will come before or after a planned cruise.
Oh! interesting about cognac.
Wow! I had no idea why the two of you are living in Bordeaux. I love learning more about you and Mark and am interested to learn more about his PhD work and findings.
I look forward to the day we finally meet in person and share a bottle of wine.
Thank you so much for sharing this post and a bit more about the two of you.
So glad you found this interesting Michelle, thanks for your comment! His research is indeed fascinating. Perhaps 2023 will be the year to enjoy food, wine, and I’m betting ravenous conversation with each other, or the four of us. I hope so!
That’s fantastic. You both are amazing to follow your dreams.
What a beautiful tribute, both to Mark and to you, and your life adventures. 💟💟💟
I admire your bravery and adventurous spirit.