Bruce Neyers, '68 AS

Bruce Neyers '68 graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in chemistry, and while his current "laboratory" may be different than the ones at UD, he is certainly putting his degree to good use.

Neyers resides in California's Napa Valley and is an accomplished winemaker. Along with his wife Barbara, also a member of UD's Class of 1968 (nee Staulcup), Bruce began Neyers Vineyards in 1992. Neyers Vineyards produces about 15,000 cases of wine each year, and it is grown on their 50-acre, organically farmed Conn Valley ranch.

Neyers, who received his minor in economics, says he wanted to become a winemaker because, “it combined science, business, people, travel and outdoor adventure in such a way that I knew I would never be bored.”

He says that the combination of activities is the best part of owning his own winery. “A typical day for me involves agriculture, sales, production, business decisions, banking and international transactions, and at the end of it, a great meal with a fascinating bottle of wine. It’s hard to top that.”

In 1999, Neyers Vineyards purchased a winery on Sage Canyon Road in the Napa Valley, producing their first vintage in this facility in 2000. In 2002, Wine and Spirits Magazine named Neyers Vineyards the Artisan Winery of the Year.

During his time at the University of Delaware, Neyers worked at the UD Bookstore, was a lab tech in Brown Hall, refereed intramural sports and was a member of Kappa Alpha, serving as the fraternity rush chairman.

Regarding his experience at UD, Neyers says, “The University of Delaware taught me how much fun it was to learn. I majored in Chemistry and minored in Economics, and these two exercises both stimulated and satisfied me, despite the fact that I wasn't an especially talented student academically.”

Reflecting on his years at the University of Delaware, Bruce says he enjoyed the atmosphere of the campus and town. “I loved the small town feel of Newark, as did my wife, and during our senior year a small art gallery was opened in Newark by the wives of two professors. My wife and I spent hours there and bought a few things from them. It opened a tremendous appreciation for art that I still have today.”