Dalton Novak, a senior plant and soil science student at the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, has big plans and even bigger dreams.
Novak was born in Victoria, Texas, and had a nomadic childhood. Due to his mother’s career as an agricultural science teacher, Novak attended several middle and high schools. This influenced his decision on what he would study in college.
“Moving around a lot really helped me develop different skills within communication,” Novak said. “That’s one of the biggest things that credit where I am now.”
Novak started his collegiate career as an agricultural communications student but switched to the PSS department at the beginning of his sophomore year when he learned about the viticulture and enology program at Texas Tech University. Novak’s mother was the first person to tell him about the program; the rest is history.
“I just kind of got lost within agricultural communications, kind of felt like it wasn’t for me,” Novak said. “Then I found out about the viticulture program, and it’s like a different world now.”
“I found out about the viticulture program, and it’s like a different world now.”Dalton Novak
When Novak first joined the viticulture and enology program in 2020, there were 19 other students in his cohort. Since then, the program has continued to grow; now, there are even students Novak doesn’t recognize.
“My friends have moved on, and I’m still here, but it’s good to see growth with the program,” Novak said.
After graduation in May, Novak plans to return home to kickstart his career working in wine cellars. Novak has experience working at wineries but has always been in the tasting room. Working in the cellars will allow Novak to use his degree uniquely and improve his wine recipe.
“My grandfather had a recipe from 1987, and so my grandmother found it one day and sent it to me,” Novak said. “I tried it out, and I tweaked the recipe a little bit, and I ended up getting a good blend of everything. People have really enjoyed it.”
Novak has found direction and purpose through the viticulture and enology program at Texas Tech and urges anyone interested to come in and give it a shot.