Angelo State University Spring Commencement Speaker
Angelo State University alumna Kristy Melton, senior winemaker at the Clos Du Val Winery in California’s Napa Valley, will deliver the commencement address during ASU’s spring graduation ceremonies on Saturday, May 16, in the Junell Center/Stephens Arena.
Melton will address graduates of the College of Education and the College of Health and Human Services during a 10 a.m. ceremony. She will speak to graduates of the College Business and the College of Arts and Sciences in a 2 p.m. ceremony. More than 800 ASU graduates are expected to walk across the stage during the two graduation exercises.
A native of El Paso and 2003 ASU graduate, Melton was promoted to senior winemaker at Clos Du Val in 2013 after becoming the winery’s first female winemaker in 2010. She is in charge of all winemaking and cellar operations, including ongoing style enhancement of all Clos Du Val wines, modernization of the iconic winery’s cellar protocols and refinement of winemaking operations. She has also worked as a winemaker at Varozza Vineyards in St. Helena, Calif., since 2010.
Prior to joining Clos Du Val, Melton held key enology and winemaking positions at several other high-profile wineries, including Saintsbury in the Napa Valley, Iron Horse Vineyards in Sonoma, Calif., and the Seresin Estate in Marlborough, New Zealand. She has also served as a wine sensory instructor at Santa Rosa Junior College in Santa Rosa, Calif.
Melton initially came to ASU as an animal science major, but just a year into college, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune-related condition that required extensive surgery and forced her to take a semester off to recuperate. When she returned, she added a biology major with the new goal of going into medical research to study the immune system and its relationship to cancer.
After graduating from ASU with her bachelor’s degree in biology and animal science, Melton joined the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., where from 2003-05 she conducted immunology research in cellular and molecular biology. During a family trip to the Napa Valley in 2004, she decided to shift her scientific acumen to winemaking. In 2005, she was one of only seven students accepted into the viticulture and enology graduate program at the University of California-Davis, earning her master’s degree in 2007.
Melton has been named one of the “Top 40 under 40 Tastemakers” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine and one of the “Top 30 under 40 Winemakers in the World” by The Drinks Business magazine. More information on Melton and the Clos Du Val Winery are available at www.closduval.com/.
More details on ASU’s spring commencement ceremonies are available at www.angelo.edu/commencement/.