Letter from the Chair

Dear Alumni and Friends,

This is an exciting time in the history of the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis.  For over 130 years, our department has driven innovation in grape growing and winemaking for California, as well as the rest of the world.  For anyone who has traveled the wine regions of the world, it is obvious that the department’s influence has been global.  Now, thanks to generous supporters, we have world-class facilities to match this influence and allow us to increase our contribution to the science of grapes and wine even more.  

In 2008, we opened the buildings of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science that house our state of the art research and teaching labs.  These facilities have enabled us to define the cutting edge of research in microbiology, plant biology, analytical chemistry, sensory science, and engineering as applied to grapes and wine.  In 2011, we opened the new LEED Platinum certified Research and Teaching Winery—the most advanced and sustainable winery in the world.  In 2012, we will open the Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building to house experiments that will allow us to pioneer sustainable wine processing ideas like water capture and reuse, carbon dioxide capture, and alternative energy sources.   Our students, always a creative and dynamic group, are now learning in the most advanced setting for grape and wine research and teaching in the world.  With these new facilities, the faculty are preparing students for practical operation of vineyards and wineries, as well as teaching these students key problem solving skills that will enable them to become leaders in their profession.  

As we move forward, my goal for the department is to maintain our mission to supply knowledge and trained professionals to the grape and wine industry.  At the same time, I look forward to working with our faculty and industry to further strengthen our research effort, creating a portfolio of research projects from basic to applied in which the industry can invest in order to better face the challenges of the future and thrive in the worldwide grape and wine market.

For all of our alumni and friends, please stay in touch—check out our website and Facebook page titled "Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis", for the latest news from the department, join our LinkedIn group, "UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Alumni and Friends", and follow us on Twitter.  And if you are going to be in Davis, please stop by, see the new facilities, and let us know your latest news!

Best Regards,

David E. Block
Professor and Chair
Ernest Gallo Endowed Chair in Viticulture and Enology
Department of Viticulture and Enology