Howard Bursen is a native of Brooklyn, NY. He left The City to study at Cornell University. That placed him squarely in the Finger Lakes Wine Region. Within a year he was making wine from local Chardonnay and Riesling. Falling in love with the wine world, he studied and experimented for several years. Travels to France, Italy and Spain, convinced him that wine and grapes would be his life.

While still a graduate student, Howard worked for several years at the Finger Lakes' famous Bully Hill Vineyards. There he divided his time between the cellar and the vineyards. He did it all - from planting to pruning, from harvesting to crushing, from fermentation to the laboratory to the bottling line. He received his Ph.D. at Cornell, in philosophy, no less. After spending two years as a college professor, he knew in his heart that the winery, not the college campus, was his true home.

Howard Bursen

Over the past thirty years, Howard has been a winemaker, vineyard manager, corporate vice president, and a consultant to the industry. His wines have won over 600 medals in national and international competitions. He has designed wineries on three continents, established vineyards, taught hands-on winemaking and viticulture to many clients, written magazine articles and book chapters, and regularly gives presentations at industry conferences.

In recent years he has produced experimental wines for Cornell University, and has served as an industry advisor to a USDA five-year research project. He serves on the Scholarship Committee of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture.

Oh, and in his spare time he is a musician. Two of his solo recordings are available at the Smithsonian, in Washington, D.C. Or, if you want to buy a copy of his philosophy book, Dismantling the Memory Machine, you can get it at Amazon. But he'd be even happier to design a winery for you, or show you how to make award winning wine, or how to grow a prize winning vineyard.

Industry Honors

  • Advisory Committee, USDA Wine and Grape Research Project
  • Industry Cooperating Winemaker, Cornell University
  • Scholarship Committee, American Society for Enology and Viticulture
  • Chairman, New England Wine Council
  • Guest Speaker, American Wine Society National Convention
  • Guest Speaker, Wineries Unlimited Conference
  • Biotechnology Project Approval by the National Science Foundation
  • Winner of over 600 awards in national and international wine competitions

Personal References, US Wine Industry

Contact information is available upon request.

  • Phil Burton, Founder, Barrel Builders, St. Helena, California
  • Mark Chien, Oregon State Vineyard Extension Specialist (retired)
  • Professor Bruce Reisch, Cornell University
  • Larry Rogers, Winegrower, Lake County, California
  • Amy LaBelle, Founder, LaBelle Winery
  • Dr. Joseph Fiola, University of Maryland Extension Specialist
  • Professor Anna Katharine Mansfield, Cornell University
  • Professor Gary Gardner, University of Minnesota


  • Contributing Author, Winemaking Problems Solved, pub. Woodhead Ltd., Cambridge, UK
  • Author, Dismantling The Memory Machine, book, pub. Springer Verlag
  • "Winemaking in Mexico", article, in Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine
  • “New Developments in Alsace”, article, in Wines and Vines Magazine
  • “Swiss Wine Research”, article, in Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine
  • “Malolactic Fermentation”, article, in Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine
  • "Great Red Hope", article, in Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine
  • "Starting a New Winery", article, in Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine

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