E & J Gallo Wineries, headquartered in Modesto, has winery operations in Sonoma and Napa Valleys, in Livingston and Fresno. Modesto is located in the San Joaquin Valley, which is approximately 88 miles east of San Francisco and 84 miles northeast of San José. Livingston is approximately 45 minutes south of Modesto and Fresno is approximately two hours south of Modesto.
Students participating in E & J Gallo Wineries-sponsored MQPs in C-Term also take part in a Preliminary Qualifying Project (PQP) in B-Term. During this PQP, students perform background research in their project area, learn about the company and industry where they will be completing their project, and hold discussions with their Gallo mentors and WPI advisors. Outcomes of the PQP include a detailed proposal describing the overall project, background related to the project, specific problems to be addressed, the approach the students will adopt to solve project problems, and project deliverables.
Acceptance to the E & J Gallo Wineries MQP program is based on judicial and academic standing and performance, essay response, demonstration of maturity, independence and teamwork, availability of projects in a specific area, qualifications relevant to the project offered, and completed interviews.
The projects are conducted during C-Term in California. Students work full-time at one of the sponsor's sites (most likely Modesto) for eight to nine weeks, from early January through early March. Student teams work with a mentor from the company and WPI faculty advisors. The project work will include the completion of a PQP, an MQP report, and final presentations to Gallo representatives at the MQP site.
Previous MQPs have involved wine filtration improvements, storage tank inert gas blanketing, wine carbonation and introduction of new processes, and equipment and technology.