WALLA WALLA — A regional winemaker and industry consultant, who is also an expert on soil and geology, has been named the new director of Enology and Viticulture at Walla Walla Community College.
Alan Busacca will begin leading the wine-making program at the college on July 29, the college announced.
Busacca is founder of Vinitas Vineyard Consultants and co-owner of Volcano Ridge Vineyard in Oregon and AmaTerra Wines in Washington.
Busacca spent nearly 25 years as a professor of soil science and geology at Washington State University before leaving in 2005 to pursue his interests in land development for viticulture, wine industry consulting and wine making.
Busacca earned a bachelor’s degree in earth sciences in 1973 from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He worked as a field geologist from 1973 to 1977 for the U.S. Geological Survey, and went on to earn his master’s and doctorate degrees in soil science from the University of California at Davis.
As a vineyard consultant, Busacca has traveled to the Mendoza region of South America for vineyard development. He has also worked on land evaluation for vineyard development in the American Viticultural Areas of Red Mountain, Walla Walla, Columbia Gorge and Columbia Valley as well as petitioned for the establishment of other American Viticultural Areas in the state.
Busacca takes over leadership from Myles Anderson, a 31-year employee of Walla Walla Community College who was charged with establishing and founding the Institute of Enology and Viticulture in 2000. Anderson is a winemaker who launched Walla Walla Vintners in 1995. Anderson has also served the college as a counselor, instructor and administrator over his career.
Since the program’s launch, more than 1,600 students have completed enology and viticulture coursework, according to the college’s College Cellars website.