August 2020

Margaret Lawson creates Scholarship & Fellowship for FST Undergrad and Graduate Students

In recognition of the value of her UC Davis Food Science degrees, Alumna Margaret Lawson ’77, MS ’79, has made an estate commitment to create the Margaret A. Lawson Scholarship for undergraduate students in food science, and the Margaret A. Lawson Fellowship to support graduate students in food science. These funds will be endowed in perpetuity to support and encourage generations of UC Davis students seeking food science degrees.

Wildfire Impact on CA Grapes and Wine

Grapevines are very resilient and do not burn easily. In many cases the vineyards act like fire breaks and are likely playing a beneficial role, due the fact that only a limited number of wineries have been destroyed or significantly damaged by past fires that have surrounded them. Expectations are that the grapevines will recover fully if they did not actually burn, although yield may be impacted. Also, even if the grapes were impacted by what we call smoke taint, there is no carry over to the next season.

In Memoriam: David R. Smart (1955-2020)

Professor Emeritus David Smart passed away on April 29, 2020, after a long illness.  Born in San Francisco, David spent most of his youth outside of Murphys, CA.  After graduating from Bret Harte High School in Angels Camp, Dave completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at UC Davis.

Mariah Mier wins IFT's IFTPS - Irving Pflug Memorial Scholarship for 2020

Mariah Mier, a 3rd year undergraduate in Food Science and Technology, was awarded the IFT Feeding Tomorrow Foundation’s Institute for Thermal Processing Specialists – Irving Pflug Memorial Scholarship for 2020.  The Feeding Tomorrow scholarships enrich students' lives by making it possible to focus on their studies and extend their experience beyond the classroom with internships or travel scholarships, and contribute to the Feeding Tomorrow Foundation’s mission of attracting, retaining, and celebrating the creative and innovative minds of future food scientists, with a goal of ensurin

I Greppi Partnership with Viticulture & Enology

UC Davis Viticulture and Enology has many historical ties to the winemaking regions of Italy.  This includes prominent alumni as well as internship programs that have trained our students and created indelible links to important viticultural regions such as Tuscany.  In the Spring of 2019, an agreement was reached between the University of California, Davis, Department of Viticulture and Enology (UC Davis V & E) and I Greppi, a winery in Bolgheri, Italy, committed to advancing the quality and understanding of wine produced in the Bolgheri DOC.  This agreement annually fun

Research Profile: Mason Earles

Dr. Mason Earles joined UC Davis in the Fall of 2019 as an assistant professor in the Departments of Viticulture & Enology and Biological and Agricultural Engineering. Prior to coming to UC Davis, he worked at Apple, Inc.

Grape Genomics Portal

In February 2020, the Cantu lab released a web portal with genomic data and analysis tools for wild and cultivated grapevines. The portal provides user friendly access to the grape genomes they have generated, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot. It also provides access to other publicly available genomic resources. More genomes will be released using this portal. Behind the genomes, the data and the website is Andrea Minio, a postdoc in Dario Cantu’s lab. The portal can be viewed here. 

Viticulture and Enology Faculty Awards & Honors

David Block named as fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers 

Professor David Block, chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology, has been elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). The honor affirms the high esteem with which his colleagues and peers view his distinctive professional achievements and accomplishments.

Save the Date: 140th Anniversary Alumni Celebration now scheduled for May 4, 2021

April 15, 2020 marked the 140th Anniversary of the founding of the Department of Viticulture and Enology.  Unfortunately, as many of you know, we were unable to celebrate in person on April 24, 2020 as originally planned. We had previously scheduled a new date of December 9, 2020, however the decision has been made to postpone the event to May 4th, 2021. Due to the current uncertainty around when it will be safe to gather again, we hope that this date will allow more people to attend.

White Paper: Successful management and mitigation of smoke exposed grapes: A needs assessment of the Pacific Coast grape and wine industry

In recent years, the grape and wine industry in the western United States has experienced repeated smoke exposures from wildfires. These have resulted in wines with characteristic off aromas and flavors that have come to be known as smoke taint. There are examples of smoke tainted wines from at least five of the past ten vintages from California, Oregon or Washington State; all three states produced affected wines in 2017 and 2018.

Course Profile: VEN 101C

During the Spring 2020 quarter, Drs. Megan Bartlett and Andy Walker had to transition from teaching VEN 101C – Viticultural Practices – in the vineyard to online via Zoom. The class typically focuses on field-oriented experiences in the principles and practices of grapevine production, including vineyard establishment, vine training, trellising, canopy management practices, irrigation and water management, and methods of crop adjustment for improvement of fruit quality.

Viticulture and Enology Welcomes New Program Representative

The Department of Viticulture and Enology would like to welcome Caroline Firman as its new Program Representative. Caroline will manage program logistics and events for the extension portion of the Department’s mission and work closely with the chair to manage Executive Leadership Board responsibilities. Caroline is a UC Davis alumna (Music, 2006) and comes to the department with over twelve years of experience in the nonprofit and event planning fields.

Viticulture and Enology chair David Block elected fellow of American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Professor David Block, chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology, has been elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). The honor affirms the high esteem with which his colleagues and peers view his distinctive professional achievements and accomplishments.

You can read more about David Block and the Fellowship in John Stumbos' article.

The UCD V&E Extension Team has been busy!

Since January 2020, we have run 16 programs and had a Booth and hosted a reception at the Unified Symposium. Our first On Campus program of 2020, organized by Kaan Kurtural (Cooperative Extension Specialist, Viticulture) was a UC Davis Winter Grape Day on January 21. Our second and last in-person program to date took place on March 4, and was titled, “Advanced grapevine irrigation scheduling and management.” Even though we could not gather in person due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it was important for us to continue to communicate with our stakeholders.