Archived News

Archived News

Ben Montpetit New Viticulture and Enology Chair

Montpetit to Focus on New Educational Offerings, Diversity and Investment

Ben Montpetit, a yeast geneticist and biochemist, is the new chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis.

Montpetit joined UC Davis in 2016 and became department vice chair in 2021.

In his new role, he plans to enhance student offerings, continue to advance diversity efforts and foster investment in students, faculty, staff and department operations.

Contest: Design a label for the launch of Hilgard631's wine

The Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis has almost completed the process of becoming licensed to sell wine and will do so under the entity Hilgard631. 

We invite all current undergraduate and graduate UC Davis students, as well as the Department of Viticulture and Enology faculty and staff, to take part in an exciting contest to help design the labels for these bottles. 
 

Contest Details, Rules and Deadlines

1. You may submit a design for one of the three options:

Comstock's features UC Davis breast milk science

In a Comstock's Magazine article from Dec. 4, 2023, FST Distinguished Professor and Chemist J. Bruce German shares how a visit to the UC Davis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in the early 2000s provided the emotional and motivational underpinning for the study of breast milk science at UC Davis since then. The article describes the formation of the Milk Bioactives Program within the Foods for Health Institute, and also features Assistant Professor of Cooperative Extension in the Department of Nutrition Jennifer Smilowitz, as well as FST Distinguished Professor David Mills.

Welcome to our new Teaching Lab Manager, Cristina Medina-Plaza!

Cristina (Cris) is from Valladolid (and the surrounding region), in central Spain. She received her B.S. in Chemistry, a M.S. in advanced techniques in chemistry, and then a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Valladolid. However, she says that her Ph.D. is really in electrochemistry because that was her thesis topic. She worked on sensors to look at ripening in grapes (sugars and phenolics). 

Research Profile, Luis Diaz-Garcia

Dr. Luis Diaz-Garcia is an Assistant Professor and Grape Breeder in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis. He succeeded Dr. Andrew Walker, who led winegrape and rootstock breeding efforts at UC Davis for over 30 years. Dr. Diaz-Garcia earned his bachelor's degree in Agronomy from Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Mexico. He then completed his master's degree in plant biotechnology at the National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity (LANGEBIO) in Mexico, where he used systems biology and bioinformatics to study yeast stress. Subsequently, he obtained his Ph.D.

Harvest 2023 in the LEED Platinum Teaching and Research Winery

Harvest 2023 came with unique opportunities, challenges, and excitement. We experienced cooler weather overall compared to previous years, so harvest started three weeks later than usual in our winery. This led to a compressed harvest that overlapped with Fall quarter courses, so we needed to juggle more activities in a shorter period of time.  

Winter 2024 Extension Summary

We hope that harvest finished smoothly for everyone and wish all a happy and healthy new year! During the fall, the extension team hosted two programs: On the Road in Alameda County and a UC Davis Grape Day.  On November 9, 2023, we hosted the On the Road program in Livermore at the UC Livermore Collaboration Center (UCLCC).

Recent Awards & Honors

DEPARTMENT NEWS 


The UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology Broadening Horizons Program was recently selected as one of the Gérard Basset Foundation 2023 grantees. The Gérard Basset Foundation supports global diversity, equity, and inclusion for wine, spirits, and hospitality professionals by funding education, learning, and career-enhancing programmes. 
 

Using Yeast to Convert Almond Hulls to Animal Feed

Yeast grown on almond hulls could be a new, sustainable route to produce high-protein animal feed from an agricultural waste product, according to research from UC Davis published Nov. 15 in PLOS One.

Raising animals for meat requires livestock feed that is high in protein, especially essential amino acids that animals need to grow. That makes feed the most expensive input in meat production.

Why Do Some People Get Headaches From Drinking Red Wine?

A recent study about Red Wine Headaches, published in the journal, Scientific Reports, by UC Davis Viticulture and Enology Professor Emeritus, Andrew Waterhouse and Apramita Devi, lead author and Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis, is receiving significant news coverage. In this new study, they examined how red wine causes headaches — even in people who don’t get headaches when drinking small amounts of other alcoholic beverages.