Awards and Announcements


Katie Calhoun was recently elected to the Executive Leadership Board (ELB) of the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis. Katie (pronounced “Kah-tee”), who has over 30 years of PR expertise, is president of Calhoun & Company Communications and has devoted her entire career to the wine and spirits industry. 

The Executive Leadership Board (ELB) is an important and influential advisory group for the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology.  Composed of invited industry leaders, educators, wine appreciators and selected friends and colleagues, ELB members lend expert counsel and assistance to the Department in setting and accomplishing its long-range strategic goals. 

UC Davis Winemaker Leticia Chacon Rodriguez received the UC Davis Safety Star award for the fourth quarter of 2022. The Safety Star Program was implemented to recognize campus employees who are making contributions to improve the safety culture at UC Davis. Leticia’s nominator, and Department Safety Coordinator for the Department of Viticulture and Enology, Vanessa Lieberman, remarks that “Leticia not only values safety, she has a passion for it. She never stops thinking about how she can improve things for others, and her happy, can-do attitude is reassuring and infectious. She’s truly deserving of this award and should be recognized for her efforts.” More information about Leticia and the award can be found here.

Anita Oberholster received the NorCal Media Food and Wine Award on March 25th for being a “Wine World Game Changer”. The awards celebrate dedicated leaders in agricultural and winemaking industries, foundations and philanthropists making a difference, biodiverse and regenerative food production, food justice, and workers' rights. Anita was given the award for her research efforts on: smoke taint and its mitigation in grapes and wine, winery sanitation, Red Blotch Virus, the use of new technologies and ‘green’ chemicals in the winery, and the re-use of winery wastewater for the irrigation of vines. More information can be found here. 

Congratulations to the Department of Viticulture & Enology Vice-Chair and Professor of Cooperative Extension, Enology, Anita Oberholster!  On Monday, January 30th, Anita received the Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Award for Innovator of the Year along with Tom Collins of Washington State University and Elizabeth Tomasino of Oregon State University. The award was given for their research on the effects of wildfire smoke on wine grapes. Jeff O’Neill, a member of the Department’s Executive Leadership Board, was awarded Person of the Year. 

Wine Enthusiast’s annual Wine Star Awards, recognize individuals and companies making outstanding contributions to the wine and alcohol beverage industry. The awards are revered as among the most prestigious in the global wine industry. 

More information about the awards and the research that Oberholster, Collins and Tomasino are doing can be found here.