October 6, 2015

Contact: AnnMarie Cornejo

Cal Poly’s Wine & Viticulture Department Welcomes New Leader

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences has appointed a French educator with a strong background in wine business as head of the university’s Wine & Viticulture Department.

Benoît Lecat joins Cal Poly from the Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, France. He will play an integral role in helping to raise additional funds needed for the university’s planned Center for Wine & Viticulture.

With more than 300 students, Cal Poly’s Wine & Viticulture Department is the largest of its kind in the nation and the only program of its kind to offer an integrated education program focused in three concentration areas: enology, viticulture and wine business.

The new Center for Wine & Viticulture will include sensory, enology and viticulture teaching labs and a commercial-grade bonded winery that will allow students to gain a comprehensive understanding of vineyards and grape cultivation, the winemaking process, and the business of wine marketing and distribution. 

“I am ecstatic to join Cal Poly’s Wine & Viticulture Department at this momentous time,” Lecat said. “In a very short time, the program has become the nation’s top program, and we have strong plans in place to guarantee that our students continue to excel. I look forward to advancing this stellar program even further.”    

Lecat earned his undergraduate degree in management and two master’s degrees in management and political science from the Catholic University of Mons (FUCAM) in Belgium. He earned a doctorate in management and marketing from the Louvain School of Management in Belgium.

His research interests are wine pricing, tourism and branding, wine and spirits tourism, and the management of luxury goods.

About Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences
Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, comprehensive polytechnic university. The university’s College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences is comprised of expert faculty members who take pride in their ability to transform academically motivated students into innovative professionals ready to solve the complex challenges associated with feeding the world in sustainable ways. Students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories including ranchland, orchards, vineyards and forests, all of which provide the basis for Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing methodology.

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