Maynard A. Amerine L. Peter Christensen
Frederik L. Jensen Amand N. Kasimatis
W. Mark Kliewer Ralph E. Kunkee
Lloyd A. Lider Carole P. Meredith
Ann C. Noble Harold P. Olmo
Cornelius S. Ough Vernon L. Singleton
A. Dinsmoor Webb James A. Wolpert

Maynard A. Amerine
(October 30, 1911 - March 11, 1998)

Professor of Enology, Emeritus

American enologist, teacher and writer, was trained as a plant physiologist at UC Berkeley in California before joining the revived Department of Viticulture and Enology at Davis in 1935. There he participated in some of the most important branches of its work, including the assessment of vine varieties for the different regions of California and the re-education of the wine industry to restore and advance the technical knowledge lost during Prohibition. With Albert J. Winkler, Amerine developed the system of classifying wine regions by measuring heat summation. The list of his publications extends to nearly 400 items. In his writings, Amerine has addressed nearly everyone interested in wine: enologists, viticulturists, owners and operators, politicians, connoisseurs, and the public generally. His "Wine: an Introduction for Americans" (1965, with Vernon L. Singleton) is a popular authority; he has also made substantial contributions to the literature of such subjects as wine judging methods, wine and must analysis, color in wines, the ageing of wine, the control of fermentation, and the literature of wine. His combination of practical and theoretical scientific knowledge, connoisseurship, erudition, and prolific output made him, to the American public, the pre-eminent member of that group of UC Davis scientists who renewed research on vines and wines after Repeal of Prohibition. His contribution to the improvement of wine making standards in California following repeal is of fundamental importance. Maynard Amerine served as chairman of the Department from 1957 until 1962 and retired from the University in 1974. He had remained active as a writer and a recognized general expert on wine, particularly wine in California.
From: Thomas Pinney, Professor of English, Pomona College; author of "A History of Wine in America".

The Maynard A. Amerine Endowed Chair is Dr. Linda F. Bisson, Professor of Enology at UC Davis.

L. Peter Christensen

Cooperative Extension Viticulture Specialist, Emeritus
Retired July 3, 1999
Telephone: 559-646-6552
FAX: 559-646-6593

E-mail: petec@lightspeed.net

Frederik L. Jensen

Cooperative Extension Viticulture Specialist, Emeritus
Retired January 1, 1988
Telephone: 209-646-6500

FAX: 209-646-6593

Amand N. Kasimatis

Cooperative Extension Viticulture Specialist, Emeritus
Retired January 1, 1985
Telephone: 530-752-0380

FAX: 530-752-0382

Although retired from the University of California for a dozen years, I still maintain a passion for viticulture and the California wine grape industry. I am able to pursue my interests as a part-time consulting viticulturist working primarily with grape growers.

The prices for wine grapes are at an all time high and this has stimulated a major planting boom in many viticultural areas, notably the Central Coast and the Northern San Joaquin Valley. No longer are the wine grape varieties noted for quality limited to cooler growing areas. There is a strong demand for wine from traditional varieties to be sold at supermarket prices. At the same time the demand for premium quality wine, notably red, has strengthened as well. Thus, it is an exciting time for a viticulturist in adapting to new technology with practices such as canopy management, spacing, supports, rootstock, and clonal selection. All this in a favorable climate of grower-winemaker interactions.

In addition to my activities in viticulture, I devote time to volunteer activities with Suicide Prevention and Davis Lutheran Church, as well as with our children and grandchildren.

W. Mark Kliewer

Professor of Viticulture, Emeritus
Retired July 1, 1994
Telephone: 530-752-0380

FAX: 530-752-0382

Ralph E. Kunkee (July 30, 1927 - Nov. 11, 2011)

Professor of Enology, Emeritus
Ph.D. Biochemistry,
University of California, Berkeley

Ralph joined the department in the early 1960’s and taught in the department until his retirement in 1991. Ralph’s major research and teaching interests had to do with wine yeast, the malolactic fermentation and the sources and controls of microbiological spoilages of wines. The wine yeast studies that he completed involved the characterizations, descriptions and utilities of various yeast strains. The data from these studies are now standard wine making tools in the global wine industry. Prof. Kunkee’s work on malolactic fermentation helped bring understanding to this bacterial activity, and how to control it. These research efforts resulted in the publication of nearly 150 scientific articles and Ralph was also co-author of two enological texts. Several of the research articles, and one of the texts, received prize-winning acclaim.

In addition, Ralph played a helpful role in the transition of the American taste in wines--and the corresponding change in California wine production--from high alcohol dessert/appetizer wines of the time to the lower alcohol table wines of today, by indoctrinating and urging the use of sterile filtration and sterile bottling as the standard means for wine stabilization. He visited essentially all of major wine growing regions of the world, and spent twelve-month sabbatical leaves in two of them (Germany and France).

Concerning his teaching, Ralph calculated that he taught over 1000 students in his specialty laboratory course: Microbiology of Winemaking—and most of those students are now widely distributed throughout the wineries of California and of the rest of the world. Even after he retired Ralph, Ralph was still involved in lecture presentations, in consultations and in wine judgings. Ralph also instructed a Distance Learning class, “Introduction to Winemaking,” through UCD Extension, with about 100 students annually.

Aside from his professional accomplishments, Ralph was a wonderful, warm person. His hospitality was legendary, and it was impossible to not have a good time in his presence, especially when he would flash his trademark smile under that bushy mustache, inevitably with a glass of wine in one of his hands.

Lloyd A. Lider

Professor of Viticulture, Emeritus
Retired August 1, 1984
Telephone: 530-752-0380 FAX: 1-530-752-0382

Carole P. Meredith

Professor & Geneticist, Emeritus
Retired January 6, 2003
Telephone: 530-752-0380

Ann C. Noble

Professor and Sensory Scientist/Flavor Chemist, Emerita
Retired November 25, 2002

Dr. Noble is busy giving short courses in the US and internationally, participating at national and international meetings in the areas of Wine, Sensory Science or Sensometrics and being a wine judge. She says she is working up the energy to write a book on Wine Sensory evaluation.

She is still involved with the Wine Aroma Wheel , selling tee-shirts and wine aroma wheels www.winearomawheel.com and giving seminars on wine tasting.

Since retirement, she has hiked or backpacked in Australia, California and New Zealand and looks forward to hiking in the mountains and gorge scrambling in summer and cross-country skiing in winter.

Harold P. Olmo

Professor of Viticulture, Emeritus
Retired July 1, 1977

Cornelius S. Ough

Professor of Enology, Emeritus
Retired October 1, 1991

Vernon L. Singleton

Professor of Enology, Emeritus
Retired July 1, 1991
Telephone: 530-752-0384
Home: 530-753-5003

FAX: 530-752-0382

E-mail: vlsingleton@ucdavis.edu

Dr. Singleton still formally consults with a few commercial organizations, informally with several more and with students and fellow scientists. He reviews books and papers for several organizations. An occasional paper is still presented or published, most recently "Barrels for Wine, Usage and Significance" p. 4-9 in Proc. Symp. Oak from Forest to Glass, 15-16 July 1999, ASEV/ES ST. Louis, MO.

In retirement, he's pursuing family genealogy, financial news, and family affairs. He still tries to keep in touch with scientific developments in the fields of phenolic compounds and wine aging.

A. Dinsmoor Webb
(Oct. 10, 1917 - Aug. 8, 2003)

James A. Wolpert

Dr. Wolpert joined the Department of Viticulture and Enology in 1985. As an Extension Specialist, he was responsible for applied research and grower education programs for northern California. He had two focal points to his research: evaluation of winegrape varieties and clones and the evaluation of rootstocks. Choice of both scion and rootstock are critical decisions in vineyard establishment. His work in rootstock evaluation throughout northern and coastal California has provided the basis for grower recommendations for a range of soil types. Clone selection decisions are complex and involve marketplace targets, "wine quality," and other subjective considerations. His clonal evaluations included work on Chardonnay and Pinot noir for sparkling wine, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Zinfandel, allowing growers some insight into making those difficult decisions. Dr. Wolpert, with several UC farm advisors and emeritus specialist A. Kasimatis identified and collected selections of Zinfandel from old vineyards, many dating to the end of the 19th century or early 20th century. The project had two goals: 1) conserving potentially valuable selections that are at risk from economic pressures to replant to newer, more productive vineyards, and 2) identifying selections with better winemaking attributes (better color and varietal character, and looser, less rot-prone clusters). The Zinfandel Heritage Vineyard at the department's Oakville Station vineyard in Napa Valley investigated viticultural and enological characteristics of advanced selections of Zinfandel taken from their original collection.