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Department of Viticulture and Enology's Unified Symposium Recap

May 13, 2019

In January, the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology exhibited a booth and hosted a reception at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento.  The department's professors, cooperative extension specialists, and even some students hosted the booth at different times in order to interact with attendees of the symposium. Folks who stopped by our booth were treated to department brochures, the latest newsletter, a list of upcoming educational programs, Dropstops®, and candy! 

Why some red wines taste 'dry'

May 10, 2019
Wine connoisseurs can easily discriminate a dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, from a fruitier red, like Pinot Noir. Scientists have long linked the "dryness" sensation in wine to tannins, but how these molecules create their characteristic mouthfeel over time is not fully understood. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have found that tannin structure, concentration and interactions with saliva and other wine components influence the perception of dryness.

Carl Winter quoted in US News and World Report article

May 10, 2019

In an article written for US News and World Report, registered dietician Dr. Joan Sagle Blake implored her readers to keep eating fresh produce, despite the recent release of this year's "Dirty Dozen", which lists the 12 fruits and vegetables available in the U.S. that have the most pesticide residues.

In the article, she quotes FST's Dr. Carl Winter. His research detecting pesticides in foods and evaluating their risk to humans is used to inform the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Pesticide Data Program.

Eduardo Dingler, Wine to Sake: The Oakville Winegrowers

May 10, 2019
Undoubtedly one of my favorite events of the year, the Oakville Winegrowers delivered another exciting day full of in-depth vineyard and state-of-the-industry discussions, an epic flight of wines showcasing vintage and location differences and, of course, the walk-around tasting where the vintners from this famed region gathered to share their latest vintage releases.

VEN welcomes new winemaker, Leticia Chacon-Rodriguez

May 09, 2019

Leticia Chacon-Rodriguez is the Department’s new winemaker/winery manager, a role previously filled by Chik Brenneman who retired in March. In this position, Leticia will oversee crush operations and wine production, teach enology students about winery operations and wine production, and assist faculty and researchers with winemaking research projects and trials.

Honoring Larry Williams: Focus on Water and Irrigation Management

May 09, 2019

On April 18, the Department honored Professor Emeritus Larry Williams for his 36+ years of service to the Department of Viticulture and Enology with a program on campus dedicated to irrigation and water management. 

The day started with Department Chair David Block recognizing Larry for his contributions to the understanding of water management and deficit irrigation as well as his commitment to teaching (and his long commute).  This was followed by a brief introduction from Larry’s colleague at Kearney, Matt Fidelibus. 

Marco Lab Junior Specialist

May 08, 2019
This position will involve research on the microbiota of food and the digestive tract. The incumbent will be responsible for bacterial community analyses of foods, milk, and mammalian digestive tracts. Specific skills in PCR, quantitative PCR, 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis (single genes and bacterial communities), and molecular biology (protein and nucleic acids) are required. Additionally, skills in bacterial and yeast culturing methods and genetic manipulation (gene deletion and mutation) are desired. Experience with animal husbandry and necropsy as well as in the maintenance of human cell cultures (e.g. Caco-2 cells) is recommended. The incumbent will be responsible for executing experimental plans developed in partnership with the PI. He/she will be expected to analyze and interpret data he/she collects and then, through critical thinking, propose next steps (experiments) to be discussed with the PI.

Student Spotlight: Grad Student Cory Marx

May 01, 2019

Cory Marx is a second year Food Science and Technology graduate student. Originally from the east coast, Cory studied Geological Sciences and Chemistry in Miami, FL as an undergraduate before a short stint working as a hydrocarbon geoscientist in Texas. Competitively homebrewing and home-winemaking at the time, he started to progress through the Wine and Spirit Education Trust program as night classes after work. Hooked on the subject, Cory decided to make the move to California to pursue a graduate degree, combining a love for fermentation science and research at UC Davis.

Mechanical Vineyard Pruning Possible Without Replanting

April 24, 2019
One of the major concerns regarding mechanical vineyard pruning is the time and cost associated with replanting a vineyard in a manner that would accommodate the process. However, a report from University of California Cooperative Extension researchers that was published in HortTechnology demonstrates that replanting is not necessary. Research conducted in Madera County found that growers can mechanize their operations by retraining vines without suffering any fruit loss or decline in quality.

Trends in Vineyard Irrigation: A Who's Who in Vineyard Water Management Honors Larry Williams

April 22, 2019
Larry Williams has remained busy since he retired last July from UC Davis after 36 years in the Department of Viticulture and Enology. Last Thursday was no different. Williams was honored at an all-day seminar on vineyard irrigation and vine water management at UC Davis. Williams invited the speakers, including former graduate students and colleagues. Williams prepared two presentations of his own, including one with 141 slides on the highlights in vineyard irrigation over the past 36 years.

UC Davis College Bowl team update

April 17, 2019

The UC Davis College Bowl team recently traveled to Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City, Utah, to compete in the 2019  IFTSA Pacific Northwest Area College Bowl competition. The team consisted of Katie Uhl (graduate student and team captain), Kay Senn (graduate student), Madison Dosh (undergraduate student), and Andres Gonzalez (undergraduate student). The event brought together teams from UC Davis, Oregon State University, Utah State University, Washington State University/University of Idaho, and the hosting school, Brigham Young University.

Winegrape vineyards can be converted for machine pruning without replanting Ahmad Hakim April 16, 2019
Wine grape growers in the San Joaquin Valley who want to switch from hand pruning to mechanical pruning won't have to replant their vineyards to accommodate machinery, according to a new study published in HortTechnology by University of California Cooperative Extension researchers. Instead, growers can retrain the vines to make the transition, without losing fruit yield or quality.

Dr. Ned Spang wins NACADA Region 9 Award

April 09, 2019
UC Davis was recognized with seven of twelve regional honors by NACADA, the global community for academic advising at the NACADA Region 9 Awards, and FST's own Assistant Professor Ned Spang was one of the honorees.   NACADA's website states, "Region 9 is proud to support student success by providing opportunities for recognition and professional development opportunities for students, academic advisors and administration."

FST student product development team in Ocean Spray competition

March 28, 2019

Five FST undergrads are a team of finalists in the 2019 Ocean Spray Product Development competition.

Melvinna Tania, Olga Lawrence, Mary-Ann Chen, Tonya Xie, and Bryan Magaline have created the product, called Cranwich, which consists of bite-sized cookies, naturally flavored and dyed pink with cranberry concentrate.  The cookies sandwich a filling made from real whole cranberries, chia seeds, and agave nectar. 

FST students land spot in Product Development Competition finals

March 28, 2019

Congratulations to IFTSA & MARS Product Development Competition finalists Vy Phung, Chia-Yung Su, Jeremy Chuardy, Gary Adrian and Siriyakorn Chantieng.  This UC Davis product development team has created a high-fiber and environmentally-friendly cracker which incorporates soymilk byproduct, or okara, as the main ingredient. The crackers are an up-cycled product that have a subtle soybean flavor and a rosemary aroma, and can be enjoyed by themselves, or is also delicious with dips, nut butter, cheese, or wine.