The American Vineyard Foundation Funds $1.4 MM for Wine and Grape Industry Research in 2018

The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is pleased to announce new funding for twenty-four projects addressing critical viticulture and enology research needs.   The AVF relies on voluntary contributions to support ongoing projects and to provide funding for new high priority projects.  “Thanks to the generosity of nearly one-thousand grower and vintner members, the AVF continues to drive research solutions for the challenges we face in our vineyards and wineries,” remarked AVF Chairman Tony Stephen.

The AVF received 68 proposals for grant consideration covering topics diverse as “Exploring Wine Protocols to Mitigate Smoke Taint” and “Evaluating Fine Root Response to Drought” to “Next Generation Trunk Disease Diagnostics.” Each proposal was evaluated by one of the six AVF review committees for scientific merit, the ability to accomplish stated objectives and to deliver value to the industry.

AVF members are surveyed on a periodic basis to determine which issues are in most need of research.  “We encourage broad participation when we conduct our 2018 Industry Research Priority Survey later this year,” AVF Manager Scott Deitrick emphasized.  “This is your opportunity to identify and rank your top research priorities to help guide AVF project funding going forward.”

To view the full list of 2018 funded projects and browse prior research summaries, please visit www.avf.org

About the American Vineyard Foundation – The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is a California corporation organized in 1978 by the American Society of Enology and Viticulture as a vehicle to raise funds for research in viticulture and enology. Basic and applied research has made the American grape and wine industry the world’s leader. The AVF provides a unique opportunity to unify the industry through an industry-wide research effort to maintain this progress. For more information visit www.avf.org

 

Hal Huffsmith Honored for Longtime Service with the American Vineyard Foundation

The Board of Directors of the American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) proudly extends our deepest gratitude to industry veteran Hal Huffsmith whose commitment, dedication and enormous contributions to the organization have been paramount to its success.  During Hal’s twenty six years of service, he has served on the Board, been a member of the Executive Committee and acted as Chairman from 2006 through 2010.  Hal also actively serves as a technical reviewer on an AVF research review committee.

As Chairman, Hal was integral in the development and refinement of key AVF programs.  Scott Deitrick, AVF Manager of Administration, who has worked closely with Hal since joining the organization in 2006, sincerely praises his character, dedication and accomplishments.  “My admiration for Hal goes far beyond words, but I’ll start by saying that it’s been a true inspiration and great privilege working together with such a gifted leader and genuine team player.  Hal’s objective nature and friendly, positive approach to conducting business and achieving goals are truly motivating and will have a lasting impact on me, the organization and the industry.”

Hal was selected for this honor for many accomplishments and attributes.  His willingness to accept any challenge and his ability to bring people together in the spirit of collaboration have greatly helped connect the dots within the research community and industry, leading to considerable advancement.

The extent of Hal’s industry-wide experience and service is truly remarkable and reaches far beyond his contributions to the AVF.  A California native, Hal received a BS in Enology from Fresno State and MS in Ag Economics from Cornell. After a harvest as a chemist at Sierra Wine Corporation, Hal went on to start a storied career in wine at John Harvey and Sons in Spain and Portugal; Ch. Barbie and Ch. LaCarelle in Bordeaux; and Buena Vista and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa Valley. In 1976 Hal jointed Trinchero Family Estates where he has spent over 40 years helping build the company into what it is today. Other wine industry volunteer service includes participation on the Board of Directors of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers, member of The Viticulture and Enology Industry Advisory Board at CSUF; and numerous other industry related screening, steering and advisory committees.

Hal’s contributions leave a profound imprint on an industry forever that will begrateful for his help.

About the American Vineyard Foundation

The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is a California corporation organized in 1978 by the American Society of Enology and Viticulture as a vehicle to raise funds for research in viticulture and enology. Basic and applied research has made the American grape and wine industry the world’s leader. The AVF provides a unique opportunity to unify the industry through an industry-wide research effort to maintain this progress. For more information visit www.avf.org

Breeding Rootstocks Resistant to Aggressive Root-Knot Nematodes

The USDA Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) grape rootstock improvement program in Geneva, NY, has undergone significant changes in the past several years as a result of the resignation of Peter Cousins from his ARS rootstock breeder position and the abolishment of the vacated rootstock breeder position by ARS due to the federal budget cuts. However, a continued effort has been made to ensure that promising rootstock selections from previous years of breeding effort are maintained and carried through the evaluation process. To meet this challenge, a multi-discipline and –institution cooperative research team has been formed under encouragement and endorsement of the California grape industry. Matthew Fidelibus of University of California-Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center (UC-KARE) now leads the effort for evaluation of horticultural characteristics and graft performance of the rootstock selections generated from the Geneva rootstock breeding program. Gan-Yuan Zhong of the USDA-ARS Grape Genetics Research Unit (GGRU) in Geneva, NY, on the other hand, leads the effort for maintaining rootstock breeding populations and evaluating these populations and selections for root-knot nematode (RKN) resistance and propagation ability. The new team has been in operation since 2013 and demonstrated its success in evaluating more than 600 rootstock selections and identifying 5 leading rootstock selections for further grafting evaluation. During 2016-2017, the Geneva Team received $15,000 grant support for this project, which was only about 20{aed9a53339cdfc54d53cc0c4af03c96668ab007d9c364a7466e3349a91bf0a23} of what was requested. The team maintained about 150 rootstock mothervines in Geneva, evaluated 22 for RKN resistance and propagation ability, and transferred 27 to Matthew Fidelibus to grow at the UC KARE in Parlier, CA.

American Vineyard Foundation Provides 1.3 Million Dollars in 2016 Research Funding to the Wine and Grape Industry

Napa, CA – The American Vineyard Foundation’s Board of Directors has approved funding for 23 projects that cover a wide scope of viticulture and enology research needs.

The AVF received 63 proposals for grant consideration covering topics as diverse as “Genetic Resistance to Powdery Mildew” and “Tannin Polysaccharide Interaction” to “Technology to Optimize Irrigation.” Each proposal was carefully evaluated by 1 of 6 AVF review committees for scientific merit, the ability to accomplish stated objectives and to deliver value to the industry.

“We’d like to recognize our highly qualified team of industry reviewers who volunteer considerable time and effort to review proposals,” remarked AVF Chairman Tony Stephen.  “Their technical expertise provides the AVF Board valuable guidance and direction towards the research critical for moving the industry ahead and we are grateful for their dedicated service.”

We’d also like to thank everyone who participated in our industry research survey last fall.  Your input prioritizes the needs of the industry and provides insight and direction to the research community who design and conduct projects to address these needs.

Please visit www.avf.org to view a list of 2016 funded projects and the results from last year’s industry research priority survey.

About the American Vineyard Foundation

The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is a California corporation organized in 1978 by the American Society of Enology and Viticulture as a vehicle to raise funds for research in viticulture and enology. Basic and applied research has made the American grape and wine industry the world’s leader. The AVF provides a unique opportunity to unify the industry through an industry-wide research effort to maintain this progress. For more information visit www.avf.org

American Vineyard Foundation Provides Over One Million Dollars to Fund Viticulture and Enology Research

Napa, CA – The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is pleased to announce funding of over one-million dollars in viticulture and enology research again this year.  The AVF,  which relies on voluntary contributions, maintained support for ongoing projects and provided funding for several new high priority projects. “Thanks to the generosity of nearly one-thousand grower and vintner members, AVF support continues to drive industry research to address the challenges we face in our vineyards and wineries,” remarked AVF Chairman Tony Stephen.

The AVF was able to fund twenty-five of the seventy-one project proposals submitted for research grant consideration.  Each proposal was carefully reviewed by one of six industry panels based on scientific merit, ability to achieve objectives and value to the industry.

The AVF is also partnering with other industry agencies in collaboration with the National Grape and Wine initiative (NGWI) to fund a larger scale project for increasing vineyard efficiency and productivity.  This will be achieved with newly developed technology using field data capture and computer modeling to better predict vineyard variance, ripening and yield expectations.

Members of the AVF are surveyed on a periodic basis to ascertain which issues are most in need of research.  A survey will be conducted later this year and the results will be posted on its website providing researchers and research institutions insight and direction for crafting proposals aligned with grape and wine industry needs.

About the American Vineyard Foundation

The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is a California corporation organized in 1978 by the American Society of Enology and Viticulture as a vehicle to raise funds for research in viticulture and enology. Basic and applied research has made the American grape and wine industry the world’s leader. The AVF provides a unique opportunity to unify the industry through an industry-wide research effort to maintain this progress. For more information visit www.avf.org

American Vineyard Foundation Announces 2014 Scholarship Awards

Napa, CA – The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is awarding five grants to graduate students conducting viticulture and enology research at University of California Davis and Fresno State University. Funds for these grants are provided by the André Tchelistcheff and Dr. Richard Peterson Scholarship Programs, managed by the AVF since 2007.

Scholarship committee members Dorothy Tchelistcheff, Dick Peterson and Bob Steinhauer weighed factors including: research value to the industry, diversity of fields of study and diversity of research institutions and labs when selecting award recipients.

“We continue to see an impressive applicant response and are pleased with how well the research aligns with the current needs of the industry.  There is an eagerness to address the impact of water shortages and increase water efficiency in the vineyards,” said Tony Stephen, the AVF’s Board Chairman.

UC Davis graduate student recipients Alexander Levin and Jenna Gargrave will focus on viticulture-related research. Alexander researches water efficiency measures in vineyard practices.  He studies regulated deficit irrigation to maintain grape yields while drastically lowering the vine’s water footprint.  Joaquin Fraga is researching breeding practices for drought tolerant rootstocks and Cassandra Bullock is working with salt tolerant rootstocks at Dr. Andrew Walker’s lab. Fresno State University student Clinton Nelson is developing guidelines for commercial growers to improve grape quality and growing efficiency while maintaining or improving yield.

About the American Vineyard Foundation

The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is a non-profit organization that enjoys generous voluntary industry support for research in viticulture and enology. The AVF provides a unique opportunity to unify the industry through efficient funding of basic and applied research contributing to the American grape and wine industry’s position as the world’s leader.

Industry Veteran Arthur J. Caputi, Jr., Retires From The American Vineyard Foundation After 35 Years of Dedicated Service

Napa, CA – Arthur J. Caputi, Jr., known to industry friends and colleagues as Art, has announced his retirement from the American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) where he has served as an integral member of the AVF Executive Committee and a founding board member since the Foundation’s establishment in 1978. A respected mentor, pioneer and advocate for the improved progression of the wine and grape industry through research, the AVF honors Art’s contributions to the organization and his invaluable impact on the American wine community not only during his 35-year tenure with the AVF, but over his successful career in the industry spanning an unprecedented 63 years.

Prior to the founding of the AVF, Art’s interest in chemistry blossomed within the winemaking and research laboratories of E. & J. Gallo starting as a teenager in 1950 where he worked summers until completing his education. What began as an interest quickly became a passion, leading Art toward an illustrious career at Gallo where he conducted countless seminal research projects.

Art built one of the first gas chromatographs used for wine analyses; improved methods for total acidity measurements; developed methods for metals analysis; researched electrodialysis (in the late 60’s, almost 40 years before the membrane technology caught up to make it practical); developed methods for carbon dioxide measurement; pioneered the use of Clark electrodes for oxygen measurement in wine; initiated collaborative analysis studies; and worked with U.C. Davis to ascertain the factors involved in ethyl carbamate formation.

Concurrent with his tenure at Gallo, Art helped found the AVF in 1978, served as the American Society for Enology & Viticulture (ASEV) President from 1979-1980 and was an ASEV board member for 20 years, as well as Chair of the ASEV Technical Projects Committee. In 2000, the ASEV honored Art’s significant contributions to the Society and the wine and grape industry for 50 years with the Society’s Merit Award following Art’s retirement from Gallo as Vice President of Technical Services. Over the past decade Art has remained active within the industry as an independent consultant, and has also continued to be instrumental in the growth and success of the AVF.

“On behalf of the AVF Board of Directors, we sincerely thank Art for his longtime AVF involvement and dedicated service to the industry and research community,” said Scott Deitrick, Administrative Manager, American Vineyard Foundation. “As a founding member of the organization, the AVF was most fortunate to have Art’s direction, expertise and leadership behind its development and pursuit to advance the industry through research.”

Art departs the AVF with a legacy that will live on for winemaking generations to come. The AFV acknowledges Art’s fortitude that has led to multiple viticultural and enological milestones over the past 60 years and will continue the progressive vision of one of its most inspiring leaders.

About the American Vineyard Foundation

The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is a non-profit organization that enjoys generous voluntary industry support for research in viticulture and enology. The AVF provides a unique opportunity to unify the industry through efficient funding of basic and applied research contributing to the American grape and wine industry’s position as the world’s leader. For more information visit, www.avf.org.

American Vineyard Foundation Announces Viticulture & Enology Student Scholarship Awards

Napa, CA – The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is awarding five grants to graduate students who are conducting viticulture and enology research at University of California Davis and Fresno State University. Funds for these grants are provided by the André Tchelistcheff and Dr. Richard Peterson Scholarship Programs, which the AVF has managed since 2007.

Scholarship committee members Dorothy Tchelistcheff, Dick Peterson and Bob Steinhauer weighed factors including: research value to the industry, diversity of fields of study, diversity of institutions and research labs when selecting award recipients. “We had an impressive applicant response this year, and while we wish we could extend our reach even further, we are pleased to help support these students in their current research and education goals,” said Tony Stephen, the AVF’s Board Chairman.

UC Davis students Kayla Burns and Claire Heinitz will focus on viticulture-related research, while Scott Frost and Anna Mantheakis research enology-related issues. FSU student Clinton Nelson is working with Dr. Kaan Kurtural on the cultural practices and management of red varietals in the San Joaquin Valley. Nelson is working to provide guidelines for commercial growers to improve grape quality and growing efficiency, while maintaining or improving yield.

About the American Vineyard Foundation

The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is a non-profit organization that enjoys generous voluntary industry support for research in viticulture and enology. The AVF provides a unique opportunity to unify the industry through efficient funding of basic and applied research contributing to the American grape and wine industry’s position as the world’s leader. www.avf.org

Red Blotch Disease Sparks Collaborative Research Effort with Lead Funding by the American Vineyard Foundation

Napa, CA – Concern over the effects and spread of Red Blotch Disease has ignited grape industry interest with support for research to address the issue. Acting on this concern, the American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) received donations from a wide variety of industry-related sources. This generous support, together with additional funding from the California Grapevine Rootstock Research Foundation, will fund more than $250,000 in targeted research over the next year.

“Our first call came from Alan Wei at Agri-Analysis, a company that provides plant and seed testing for the industry,” said Scott Deitrick, co-manager of administration at the AVF.

Wei was part of a group organized to raise awareness and encourage support for the research. Michael Sipiora, of Quintessa, and Bob Steinhauer, owner of Wineland Consulting, were also active in this group and made donations to the cause. Other generous contributions were received from the Consolidated Central Valley Table Grape Pest and Disease Control District, and Pro-Ag Crop Insurance. Support also streamed in from as far away as Virginia with a donation from Lucie Morton-Garrett, who works as a vineyard consultant.

This widespread collaborative effort was directed at a study entitled “Biology and Spread of Grapevine Red Blotch-Associated Virus,” conducted by Mark Fuchs of Cornell University and Mysore Sudarshana with USDA-ARS at UC Davis. Symptoms of the disease include blotches of pink or red veins on green leaves in the fall, when grape leaves would normally be turning a uniform gold color. Growers also might notice that their grapes are slow to develop sugar levels sufficient for winemaking, with some grapes never fully maturing.

With the help of industry support, the AVF is also funding two additional related projects, entitled “Evaluating the Effects of Grapevine Red Blotch-Associated Virus on Symptom Development and Fruit Maturity” and “Development and Application of Next Generation Sequencing to Facilitate the Release of New Grapevine Accessions in Quarantine and Certification Programs.”

About the American Vineyard Foundation

The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is a non-profit organization that enjoys generous voluntary industry support for research in viticulture and enology. The AVF provides a unique opportunity to unify the industry through efficient funding of basic and applied research contributing to the American grape and wine industry’s position as the world’s leader. www.avf.org

American Vineyard Foundation Provides Over One Million Dollars in Research Funding to the Wine & Grape Industry

Napa, CA – The American Vineyard Foundation has announced that it is providing over one million dollars for research in 2011 by funding 28 grant proposals submitted for consideration. To further stretch project funding, the AVF collaborated with other wine and grape industry funding organizations such as the California Table Grape Commission, the Oregon Wine Board, the California Raisin Marketing Board, the California Grape Rootstock Improvement Commission and the Grapevine Improvement Advisory Board when possible.

The role played by American Vineyard Foundation to support viticulture and enology research has become even more critical this year following public cuts to other industry research funding programs. Federal support for the Viticulture Consortium West (VCW) and state support for the California Competitive Grants Program for Viticulture and Enology (CCGPVE) were eliminated for this year, leading to a 40{aed9a53339cdfc54d53cc0c4af03c96668ab007d9c364a7466e3349a91bf0a23} reduction in money available for industry research.

The American Vineyard Foundation, which relies on voluntary contributions from industry growers and vintners, was able to perpetuate ongoing projects as well as fund a few new high priority proposals. “While we are disappointed about federal and state program cuts that have led to a reduction in overall research investments, we are pleased that the generous support from our growers and vintners has allowed the AVF to maintain an impressive level of industry research funding,” remarked AVF Chairman Jim Frisinger.

Each proposal was carefully considered by one of six industry review panels based on scientific merit, ability to achieve objectives and importance to the industry. Members of the American Vineyard Foundation are surveyed on a periodic basis to ascertain which topics are most in need of research. These results are then posted on the AVF website giving researchers and research institutions an opportunity to craft proposals that will address grape and wine industry needs.

Proposals included such diverse topics as leafroll disease epidemiology and research designed to develop a clearer understanding of tannin extractability and activity.

About the American Vineyard Foundation

The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is a California corporation organized in 1978 by the American Society of Enology and Viticulture as a vehicle to raise funds for research in viticulture and enology. Basic and applied research has made the American grape and wine industry the world’s leader. The AVF provides a unique opportunity to unify the industry through an industry-wide research effort to maintain this progress. For more information visit www.avf.org