Heard it Through the Grapevine

Top row: Luis Diaz-Garcia, Anita's award, Andy Walker; Middle row: Winkler dinner; Bottom row: David Block's class and books, Arpa & Moises and pictures of their beer

Welcome to Luis Diaz-Garcia! 

The Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis is excited to announce that Luis Diaz-Garcia will be joining the department as a new faculty member and grape breeder, starting July 1, 2022! Welcome to UC Davis V&E! Ted Rieger has written a nice introduction to Luis, which can be found here.

Anita Oberholster Receives CAWG Leader of the Year Award 

The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) selected Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis Associate Cooperative Extension Specialist, Enology, Dr. Anita Oberholster as the 2022 Leader of the Year. The Leader of the Year Award recognizes an individual whose record of exceptional leadership has benefitted California’s wine industry and is an inspiration to others. The recipient has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to issues of significant importance to winegrape growers and has achieved lasting changes to promote and protect the interests of California winegrape growers. Anita was honored at a reception on Tuesday, April 26th at the Sutter Club in Sacramento.  Congratulations, Anita! 

Andy Walker Celebration 

On May 19th, we celebrated the academic career of Andy Walker at the UC Davis Conference Center. The general theme of the day was “The past, present, and future of viticulture and grape breeding.” 

Speakers addressed many different parts of the viticulture and grape breeding continuum. From phylloxera to the grapevine collection to the evolution of grape breeding and the Walker Lab. Speakers included Hans Walter-Peterson, Jean Dodson Peterson, Glenn McGourty, Karl Lund, Chris Chen, Peter Cousins, Kris Lowe, Lise Asimont, Summaira Riaz, Claire Heinitz, Alan Tenscher, Cecilia Aguero, Karla Huerta, Eric Wada, Andy Viet Nguyen, Samuel Barros, Nancy Sweet, Jeffrey Granett, and Howard Ferris! They showed how one professor can have such a profound influence on the grape and wine industry with one generation of student researchers. They also talked about how he instilled a passion for viticulture in his students. We also introduced (via Zoom) Luis Diaz-Garcia, the new grape breeder in the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology. 

The 2022 Winkler Dinner 

On May 14th, the Department of Viticulture and Enology student organization, DEVO, hosted the Winkler Dinner, an annual fundraiser to benefit the student organization and to fund scholarships. Held for the first time in three years due to the pandemic, the dinner was a great success. It was organized, staffed, and hosted completely by V and E students.  They arranged for the chefs, ordered the tables, chairs, utensils, wineglasses, etc. They also plated and served all the courses and beverages and procured all auction items. Congratulations to DEVO!! Watch this short video to see how wonderful the 21st Annual Winkler Dinner truly was.

David Block Releases a New Textbook! 

Professor and Department Chair David Block and Assistant Adjunct Professor Konrad Miller just published a new textbook titled, “Unit Operations in Winery, Brewery, and Distillery Design,” published by CRC Press. This book covers winery equipment and winery design principles as covered in VEN 135 in the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology—from grapes arriving at a winery to product and waste leaving. In addition, based on Dr. Miller’s industry experience, the book also covers brewery and distillery equipment (and was used as a textbook in its draft form for VEN 140, Distilled Spirits Production, by Dr. Miller in 2020). To celebrate being able to use the textbook for the first time in VEN 135 this quarter, Dr. Block purchased copies of the book for all his students with funds from the Ernest Gallo Endowed Chair in Viticulture and Enology, which he holds. This book joins a series of other important textbooks from department authors that have helped to shape the viticulture and enology curriculum, worldwide, over the last century. Interested in a copy for yourself or someone else who would appreciate this comprehensive textbook and reference on their desk? You can order from Amazon here.

Shoutout to the Director of Industry Relations (UCD V&E), Karen Block, for her cover photo that decorates this book! 


San Joaquin County Viticulture Farm Advisor Position Open! 

Apply for the Viticulture Advisor position in San Joaquin County, California! The University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) is seeking a UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Viticulture Advisor, Applied Research and Extension, to serve the Northern San Joaquin Valley of California. This position will be headquartered in San Joaquin County with regional responsibilities in southern Sacramento (including the Lodi Appellation in southern Sacramento) and Stanislaus counties. The advisor will support entry-level growers who require an intensive educational effort on basic viticulture and pest management practices while experienced growers need information on new technologies to remain competitive. Secondary responsibilities will include providing support for cane berries and blueberries, although the major program emphases will be on wine grape production. The advisor will work closely with growers, industry, and with more than 100 pest control advisors, a large and important secondary clientele group. A minimum of a master’s degree in viticulture, crop science, soil science, pest management, or a closely related field is required at the time of appointment. If interested in this position, please read more about it here. To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by July 1, 2022. 


Viticulture & Enology Students Win Iron Brew Competition 

Congratulations to Viticulture and Enology students Arpa Boghozian, Moises Gomez, and Abe Cooper! They, along with chemical engineering major Cleopatra Constantin, recently won this year’s Iron Brew Competition, a contest held each year among students in the practical malting and brewing course within the Department of Food Science and Technology at UC Davis. Students formulate a beer recipe and spend weeks brewing three batches of various styles of beer. The students’ winning recipe is a Scottish export ale with a copper hue and hints of caramel. It will be made by local brewery Sudwerk and available beginning June 3rd at Sudwerk, and June 2nd at the Gunrock restaurant on campus. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the university’s brewing program. The students worked with Sudwerk’s in-house artist to make a label for the beer. To read the full article, please click here.