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!