Culture: Joel Perez | Wine Enthusiast
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40 Under 40 Tastemaker

Joel Perez, 35, Walla Walla, WA
Photos by Scott McDermott

Director of Viticulture, Institute for Enology & Viticulture, Walla Walla Community College

Cultivating the growers

Perez joined Walla Walla Community College’s staff a year ago, but he was already well-versed in the region’s grape-growing. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Viticulture and Enology and a master’s in Horticulture from Washington State, pursuing research on virus identification, water management and late season grape dehydration. Perez is also a key member of the College Cellars winemaking program, mentoring the next generation of Washington vintners.

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