Course Profile: VEN 126 Wine Stability with Dr. Ron Runnebaum
May 21, 2019
University of California, Davis (UC Davis) winemaker Charles “Chik” Brenneman retired from his position at the UC Davis Teaching and Research Winery on March 5, 2019 to pursue other winemaking opportunities and to have more time for personal interests. Brenneman joined the Department of Viticulture and Enology (V&E) as staff winemaker in 2006, when the department offices and teaching winery were still located in Wickson Hall on the UC Davis campus.
The Wine Stability course (VEN 126) addresses the most important physical, chemical and enzymatic reactions in juices and wines as well as the theory and principles associated with adjustment of acidity, fining, stabilization for shipping and clarification of wines. The course provides the scientific basis and a quantitative perspective of our understanding of the physical and chemical reactions in wines, besides the ethanol and malolactic fermentations.
By the completion of this class, the student should be able to:
UC Davis V&E Extension has had quite the busy winter and spring quarters. After hosting a booth and a reception at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium, we began our series of On Campus and On the Road programs.
Why some red wines taste 'dry'
May 10, 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, staff and 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!
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.
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.
Leticia Chacon-Rodriguez is the Department’s new winemaker/winery manager, a role previously held by Chik Brenneman who retired in March 2019. 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.
On April 18, the Department of Viticulture and Enology honored Professor Emeritus Larry Williams for his 36+ years of service with a program on campus dedicated to irrigation and water management.
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.
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.
Winegrape vineyards can be converted for machine pruning without replanting
April 16, 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.
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.