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245 Winegrape Viticulture Specialist


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This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.



I fully support the new position. We have a critical need for this type of research, and this will further the revitalization of the Oakville Station- an underutilized resource.
Posted May 9, 2012 3:54 PM by Tom Selfridge
As both a Winery Manager and Grower I see this position as critical to the long term success of our industry. We must continue to conduct research at the lab and field level and this is a good start. We must also use the resources we already have to the maximum extent possible and I think a Viticulture Specialist stationed at the Oakville Field Station would increase the value of that location to the industry.
Posted May 16, 2012 1:29 PM by Craig Rous
The industry really needs additional Extension Specialists in viticulture. There are many important research problems to work on. The Oakville station provides a facility that is conducive to doing research.
Posted Jul 13, 2012 4:13 PM by Maxwell Norton
The University of California Oakville Research Field Station located in Oakville, Napa Valley, California is unique in worldwide academia as the facility has both vineyards in Americas premier appellation plus the infrastructure necessary to engage in pertinent research. The close proximity of the Davis campus gives both students and faculty an opportunity to access the site, engage in experimentation and transport the grapes grown at the Station to the research winery on campus. Thus, vineyard practices can be extrapolated to wine quality markers - and, vice versa. The synergy between the campus and Oakville Station should be a dynamic teaching tool for both students and industry professionals. Unfortunately, budget cuts and lack of interest has caused the Oakville Station to be sorely underutilized.
The Oakville Station needs a leader and champion. The Cooperative Extension Specialist in Winegrape Production based in Oakville could be that person. California North Coast grape value hovers at the $900M per year level and with the recent increase in grape pricing could exceed the $1B mark going forward. A qualified and energetic Extension Specialist focusing on the North Coast industry could be very useful in enhancing winegrape quality, promoting sustainability and improving the industries profitability for the growers and vintners in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties. I strongly encourage you to seek funding for a permanent CE Specialist whose research would be based at Oakville while also providing guidance to the California industry through workshops, demonstrations and other activities used by CE Specialist to disseminate "best viticulture practices".
Posted Jul 17, 2012 9:40 AM by Hal Huffsmith
On behalf of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers, an organization representing over 600 vineyard owners and associated businesses in Napa County, I write to express strong support for the proposal to secure an Cooperative Extension Specialist in Winegrape Production, to be based at the University of California Oakville Research Field Station located in Oakville, California.

The Napa wine industry is at the forefront for sustainability and quality in winegrape production and contributes over $43 billion to the U.S. economy. Consumer demand for wine increases annually and our industry must continually raise the bar in order to successfully compete in an international marketplace. Most wine producing countries have extension research facilities and well-funded governmental programs, and California's challenge is to stay on the cutting edge with clear plant material and the highest quality vineyards. Having an Extension Specialist in Winegrape Production in place will greatly aid our efforts in this regard and will ensure that relevant research, scientific advances, and timely information are available to support our industry as we move into the next phase of planting and development.

We applaud your foresight in proposing this position and will do whatever we can to see that it come to fruition.
Posted Jul 17, 2012 9:53 AM by Jennifer Kopp Putnam
The creation of a new CE Winegrape Specialist to support California grape growers is an exciting and innovative solution for many of us who need support and critical thinking about improving our viticultural work. Having a focal point to turn to on growing issues can have the added benefit of gathering all of the CE expertise in one place and become a statewide resource. I fully support the establishment of this position. We in the Shasta-Cascade Viticulture Association look forward to working with the CE Winegrape Specialist in the future and hope to make that person familiar with our unique regional issues.

Thank you for your commitment to our growers by establishing this important CE Winegrape Specialist position!
Posted Jul 17, 2012 9:56 AM by Greg Butler
UC Davis' proposal to base a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Winegrape Viticulture at the Oakville Field Station focusing on vineyard water use, measuring vine water status, and nutrient use has significant practical benefits to our wineries in Napa Valley (Robert Mondavi Winery, Franciscan Winery, and Mt. Veeder Winery) and will also benefit growers and other wineries in Napa Valley, the North Coast and wine regions throughout California. Napa winegrape growers and wineries are active in adopting new technology and techniques and would act as a very interested consumer and participant, if necessary, of the research generated by this position.

A better understanding of winegrape water use and vine water status has the potential of increasing yields and quality. Research undertaken by UCD professors over the last 25 years has helped the wine industry understand the importance of optimizing water use and vine stress in winegrapes. To make additional progress we will need continued information and improved tools. Conserving water and increasing irrigation efficiencies while maintaining and/or increasing yield and quality are critical issues for California's wine industry now and in the future. It is also of primary importance to understand Nutrient use, especially nitrogen's effect, on greenhouse gas emissions.

Improving wine quality, yield, and efficiency will help keep the wine industry competitive with worldwide producers. Better use of water and other resources in California will allow us to meet our all important goals of sustainable winegrowing.

UC Extension is a respected and unbiased source of research information that is extremely valuable in pointing the industry onto the correct path for these issues. However, the support level has not kept up with the growth of the wine industry in the last 20 years. Basing this position in Oakville means a closer connection to the industry not only in Napa but throughout California while still maintaining close ties to UC and USDA-ARS researchers at Davis, Berkeley and Riverside.

In addition to the practical application of vineyard water use, vine water status, and nutrient use this type of research can be used to further investigate ecosystem processes. We expect that improved understanding of water content, flow, and balance will ultimately lead to better ecosystem management approaches which will bring additional scientific data to the political debate of water use in California.
Posted Jul 17, 2012 10:26 AM by Greg Fowler
On behalf of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission board and over 1500 vineyard owners in Sonoma and Marin County, we strongly support the addition of an Extension Viticulture Researcher at the Oakville Research Station.

Grape growers in our counties are facing a number of viticulture challenges that need further research. These include conserving water while still producing quality grapes at yield levels that will sustain profitability for growers. Water is increasingly critical to our growers, including water for frost protection and agriculture waivers for irrigated lands. The pressures will only increase.

In addition, growers face ongoing production threats from labor shortages that will result in increase mechanization and nutrient management to better maintain vine health and improve wine quality in order to sustain grape growing on the North Coast.

It is especially valuable to create this research position on the North Coast. These counties produce some of the highest value grapes in the state and perhaps the world. If we are to retain California’s dominance in the US wine market and expand wine sales globally, the North Coast must continue to advance its viticulture. Advances made here will translate to all of California as every region strives to improve its grape and wine quality and expand their markets.

The budget challenges over the years have taken a toll on the viticulture research and extension base in California. California has lost its leadership position over the years to Australia and other regions. It is important to address this deficiency and this extension viticulture position is an important first step in enhancing our research position for California grape growers.

Thank you for proposing this new position for UC Davis and California grape growers.
Posted Jul 17, 2012 10:49 AM by Nick Frey
I am writing in support of the proposal from the Department of Viticulture and Enology for a new Cooperative Extension Specialist in winegrapes based at the Oakville Station facility. The department currently has only one CE Specialist focused on winegrapes statewide.

The dramatic growth of vineyards in California, both in value and in number, has created additional demands to investigate unique cultivation problems and issues in many traditional and new growing areas. For the wine grape industry to continue to meet the national and international demand of the state's wines, the industry needs to be effective in critical areas of vineyard development, like water use to better balance the needs of the surrounding environment and the local communities.

In adding this new position, information generated will be usable by the industry immediately. The measure of success for filling this position is a more sustainable industry, able to maintain its economic engine in a situation where practices will have to increase in productivity for the industry to remain viable in a competitive global market and meet the demands of our local communities.

The wine and winegrape industries are important to the California economy. Winegrapes had a $2.13 Billion farmgate value in 2011 from 543,000 acres representing grape growers. This represents over 60% increase in winegrape acreage in the last 20 years. The California wine industry generated $19.9 billion in domestic sales in 2011 with a total economic impact of $61.5 billion just in state. There are currently over 3,500 wineries in California, an increase of over 100% in the last 20 years. However, even given this importance to the state economy, we currently have only one CE Specialist working full time on winegrapes (based in Davis) and part of another specialist who also focuses on table and raisin grape production (based at the Kearney Ag Center).

The state's wine and winegrape industries, along with the Department, need additional CE positions to complement our existing wine grape specialist housed at Davis and our table and raisin grape specialist based in Kearney. The shrinking number of viticulture specialists means that large segments of the industry are currently not well served. Limited access to Viticulture Farm Advisors makes this appointment even more important for extending valuable knowledge to growers. Creating a base for this position at our Oakville Station puts the appointee in the center of North Coast Viticulture and able to interact with trade organizations,regional technical groups, and individual growers

As part of the California wine grape industry, our family looks forward to having a new Cooperative Extension Specialist to meet the challenges ahead of our industry and the local communities.

Posted Jul 17, 2012 11:02 AM by Bruce Cakebread
The Napa Valley Vintners, a non-profit trade association representing more than 430 member wineries, supports the development of a CE Specialist focused on winegrapes statewide to be stationed at the Oakville Field Station. With more than 540,000 acres of winegrapes in California and 4600 growers and an overall economic impact of $61.5 billion to the State's economy, we feel that having a CE Specialist dedicated to winegrapes is critical to the continued success of the California wine industry.

The dramatic growth of vineyards in California, both in value and in number of over $121.8 billion to the National economy has created additional demands to investigate unique cultivation problems and issues in many traditional and new growing areas. Having the position located at the Oakville Experimental Station in the Napa Valley centralizes this research hub for the entire North Coast wine grape industry and provides the position with world class growing conditions. By centrally locating the Specialist, the wine industry will have immediate access to all information generated in these areas.

The new CE Specialist position should focus on the areas of vineyard water use, sensing of water status, and nutrient utilization and availability. Water is a key issue all over the state especially finding ways to use it more efficiently and effectively, including the use of reclaimed water is paramount. Similarly, maintaining quality while minimizing fertilizer and/or pesticide additions are also important parts of ongoing sustainability efforts in the Napa Valley and in the California wine industry as a whole.

In addition, the Winegrape Cooperative Extension is understaffed. At this time the wine industry has one CE Specialist working full time on winegrapes (based in Davis) and a part-time specialist who also focuses on raisin and table grape production (based in Kearney) for a crop with a farm gate value of $2.13 billion in 2011, 543,000 acres and more than 4600 wine grape growers. This acreage represents a more than 60% increase in wine grape acreage in the last 20 years. There are currently over 3500 wineries in California, an increase of over 100% in the last 20 years. The shrinking number of viticultural specialists means that large segments of the industry are currently underserved with limited access to the specialized knowledge needed in the wine grape industry.
Posted Jul 20, 2012 2:54 PM by Napa Valley Vintners
I support the additon of Coop Ext Viticulture Specialist wholly. Innovation is key in maintaining a leading role within the global wine market and research is key to innovation. The Oakville Experiment Station is a key link in the chain between UC Davis and Northcoast grapegrowers. The additon of this position will further strengthen this important bond. Thank you for your proposal.
Posted Jul 23, 2012 10:36 AM by Eric Pooler
As a board member of the Napa Valley Grape Growers, I want to lend my support to this important position. This is the kind of forward thinking that the entire wine industry can get behind. I look forward to the many initiatives that will start to be addressed by the capable person who lands in this important position.
Posted Jul 23, 2012 10:40 AM by John Wilkinson, Board Member
Having a Winegrape Extension specialist located in the heart of the Napa Valley will provide an important link between UC and private Industry that will benefit both tremendously. As Treasurer of the NVG and a vineyard consultant in Napa I support the development of this position and look forward to the invaluable benefit this will provide to our industry.
Posted Jul 23, 2012 10:59 AM by Garrett Buckland
A viticulture specialist would be a valuable addition to the U.C.Coop team in place.Oakville Station seens like a logical Base.---larry hyde
Posted Jul 23, 2012 12:37 PM by Larry Hyde
As a viticultural consultant based in Napa Valley and a board member of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers, I am writing to express my support for hiring a Winegrape Specialist to be based at the University of California Oakville Research Field Station located in Oakville, California. There is a critical need for this position to expand upon the research that has been done at the Oakville Research Station and to utilize this resource to its full potential. The winegrape industry is a major industry in California and we have a need for more applied research in areas such as water use and availability, vineyard sustainability, mechanization, precision viticulture and pest management practices. We need this position and the research and outreach it will provide in order to stay competitive in the global market.
Posted Jul 23, 2012 2:51 PM by Remi Cohen
I fully support this proposed position. At the EIPD Strategic Initiative conference, I commented to Lynn Wunderlich my concern about the lack of current expertise in UC ANR on winegrape nutrition. Including water use is a natural fit, given projections on water availability.
Posted Jul 23, 2012 3:09 PM by Monica Cooper
Please accept this letter of support for the proposed CE Winegrape Viticulture Specialist position in the Department of Viticulture and Enology. I understand that the position will be assigned to the UC Oakville Station, and charged with the development of an applied research and extension program relevant to the needs of the North Coast winegrowing industry.

I believe that you have done an excellent job characterizing the economic value of this position to the regional grape and wine industry, as well as highlighting how the position would support the ongoing mission of the Department of Viticulture and Enology. I would also like to point out the critical and unique programmatic link that this position could provide to existing UC ANR programs and the statewide winegrowing industry.

UC Davis and the Department of Viticulture and Enology have made significant investments in the Oakville Station during the past two decades, including the development of research vineyards and modern laboratory facilities. The Oakville Station is located in the heart of one of the world’s iconic wine growing regions, and is also readily accessible from UC Davis and the adjacent premium wine growing regions of Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino Counties. By filling this position, ANR, UC Davis and the Department of Viticulture and Enology have a unique opportunity to leverage their investment in Oakville and create a regional Center of Excellence for premium wine grape production research and extension education. This potential is made even more powerful by taking advantage of the faculty, research facilities and world-class research winemaking capabilities on the UC Davis campus and elsewhere in the UC system. This position will provide statewide leadership in the area of wine grape production, as much of the information generated regarding germplasm and rootstock evaluation, cultural practices and pest management research from this region can be readily transferred to other regions of the state.

You have my full support for filling this critical position, including any assistance that I can provide to secure industry funding for relevant research and extension projects.
Posted Jul 23, 2012 3:13 PM by Nick Dokoozlian
As a member of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers Industry Issues Committee, I support the addition of a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Winegrape Viticulture to the Oakville Station.

The Industry Issues Committee focuses on ensuring that our members’ interests are addressed on a variety of local and broader issues, including conservation and natural resources. As water use is a critical issue throughout the state, it is very important that the wine industry is up to date on the most effective and efficient means of conserving water while maintaining the quality and yield levels of its grapes.

Further, I understand that the Winegrape Cooperative Extension is currently understaffed. The state’s winemakers and grape growers need additional CE positions to better serve the industry. Creating this position at the Oakville Station will put the appointee in the center of North Coast Viticulture and be an invaluable resource for the winemaking and grape growing community.
Posted Jul 23, 2012 3:51 PM by Wyman Smith
Please consider this another letter in support of the proposed CE Winegrape Viticulture Specialist position to be based at the Oakville Station.

This Specialist would play a very important role bridging the gap between world-class research and world-class winegrowing. As an alum of UCD V&E and currently the COO of a Napa vineyard and winery operation (as well as president of the board of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers), I am very aware that such a gap does exist. The Oakville Station is the perfect location for such as position as the industry can get the applied research it needs and the university would increase its visibility and relevancy in this important growing region, and beyond.
Posted Jul 23, 2012 4:49 PM by Jon Ruel, Trefethen Family Vineyards
As a member of Napa Valley Grapegrowers, I fully support this position in Rutherford. Having an expert in the midst of the grapegrowing action will be very conducive to delivering effective and meaningful research results.
Posted Jul 25, 2012 1:21 PM by Dave Yewell

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