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263 Cooperative Extension Viticulture Specialist with Winegrape Specialization Based at Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo


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This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.



Areas of emphasis should also include Monterey, Santa Barbara, San Benito & Ventura Counties. An important area of research should include wine grape mechanization systems, since some of the industry leaders in this area are on the South Central Coast.
Posted May 30, 2012 11:53 AM by Maxwell Norton
I think this position would forge an excellent and long-lasting partnership between UC ANR and Cal Poly SLO in the area viticulture. From discussing the proposed position with Cal Poly Dean Dave Wehner, I understand that the local viticulture industry has pledged a substantial amount of financial support for the viticulture program at Cal Poly and this position would benefit from that support. The Specialist would be able to work with all UCCE Viticulture Advisors in California, especially those in the southern half of the state and would be able to bring the resources of Cal Poly to the table for applied research and extension education programs.
Posted Aug 5, 2012 9:00 AM by Richard Enfield
The CSU system and local wine industry are investing in the continued development of the Wine and Viticulture Program at Cal Poly, and are planning for a new applied research and innovation center aimed specifically at serving the educational and research needs of the Central Coast wine industry. Central coast vineyard (districts 7 and 8) now produce more than 30 white and 52 red wine grape varieties, and wine grape production from the five counties composing districts 7 and 8 (367,000 tons) now rivals production from the five counties composing districts 1-4 (380,000 tons). Wine grape production in districts 7 or 8 leads production from the other coastal California districts for many varieties (including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Syrah, Grenache, Temperanillo, Primitivo, Petite Sirah), and production from District 7 or 8 leads production from all other CA districts for Rhone white varieties (Marssanne, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc) and German white varietals (Gewurtztraminer, White Riesling), as well as Pinot Noir and several Italian red varieties. Weighted price averages for Pinot Noir from district 8 ($2654) now rival price averages from Napa ($2526) and Sonoma ($2903). Climate, weather, soils, and disease loads in the cool-climate central coast vineyards in Districts 7 and 8 are distinct form those of most other coastal California appellations. The allocation of a new Cooperative Extension Research Viticulturist for the central coast industry, and the location of this individual on the Cal Poly campus would significantly broaden and strengthen the state's support of the wine growing industry, would synergize with developing programs at Cal Poly, and would help catalyze the further growth and adaptation of the Central Coast wine industry to environmental and economic change.
Posted Aug 6, 2012 5:33 PM by Jim Cooper
Cal Poly's College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences houses the largest Wine and Viticulture Program in the U.S. with over 260 students. We prepare the future leaders of the wine industry. While the specialist would not teach formal classes, there would be interaction with the students and thus, there would develop a stronger relationship with the Cooperative Extension Service. Strengthening this relationship would benefit all parties.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 1:30 PM by David Wehner
On behalf of the SLO Vintners Association, we support this new position and understand how important it is to continue growing Viticultural programs at Calpoly. This new Cooperative Extension Research Viticulturist will help to sustain and support our local wine growing industry, and continue to strengthen the local community of growers and producers in our region by developing and implementing new technologies in the industry.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 2:51 PM by Heather Muran
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is an ideal location for a cooperative extension viticulturist since geographically well located in the South Central Coast of the State. The South Central Coast represents an important part of the State's wine grape growing region. In San Luis Obispo County alone, wine grapes consistantly represents one of the major crops grown in the County. The CAFES successfull wine and viticulture program and the students would directly benefit from this proposed position. Having a cooperative extension local viticulture specialist focusing on the southern part of the State would provide a welcome relieve to the budget cuts our State currently experiences in applied research specific to winegrapes.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 2:56 PM by Jean-Pierre Wolff
Cal Poly is in the heart of the Central Coast winegrowing area, surrounded by vineyards and wineries which produce quality wines that make a major contribution to the economy. A study commissioned by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance (Press Release, 2007) indicated that these regional wine industries provided 8,114 full-time equivalent jobs and contributed $1.8 billion to the state and local economies. A large proportion of the grapes are used in the $12-20 bottle price category which includes the strongest segment of the global wine market ($7-14, super-premium category).
The placement of a specialist at the university would:
• Strengthen relevant research and extension for the wine industry
• Foster collaboration between the Wine & Viticulture Program at Cal Poly and Cooperative Extension Research
• Help serve the unique needs of the Central Coast wine industry

Therefore, the placement of a viticulture specialist would help increase jobs and profits in the region and thereby contribute to a healthy State economy.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 3:19 PM by Gerry Ritchie
As a Cal Poly alum, who majored in Ag Management; and currently representing the Central Coast Wine Growers, I strongly urge the establishment of this position. The CCWGA mission is to advance the wine industry through advocacy and education; and this positiion would help further enhance the California wine industry.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 3:21 PM by John Burke
The Central Coast Viticulture region spans many different counties and grape growing regions. This offers many opportunities and resources for a cooperative extension Viticulturist specialist to be based. Currently the Central Coast region is undergoing a growth in premium wine grapes. A specialist in this region would help in providing guidance in research of mechanical farming many other issues that would lead this region into the 21st century.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 8:19 PM by Dan Rodrigues

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