Fresno State Grape Day at the university’s viticulture and enology facilities and vineyards on Tuesday, Aug.12, will include updates on grape and wine research for growers and winemakers.

The informal biannual event will be presented from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. by Fresno State’s Viticulture and Enology Department and Viticulture and Enology Research Center.

The cost to attend Grape Day is $15 (including lunch) if registration is made by Aug. 1. Late and on-site registration is $20.

Grape growers, packers, pest control advisors, winery personnel and others interested in grape and wine will find topics of interest, said Dr. Robert Wample, head of Fresno State’s viticulture and enology programs. Continuing education credit is pending approval.

Topics will include: mechanical pruning, the use of ABA (abscisic acid) to enhance color , sensory laboratory projects, NIR (near infrared spectrometry) technology, pest and disease control issues, hang time studies, water relations, RDI irrigation, soil moisture systems and the use of flow cytometry in winemaking.
The program will include field, lab and winery tours, classroom-style presentations and poster presentations by faculty, staff and student research assistants. Industry partners may also participate.

“Grape Day provides an opportunity for growers and winemakers to meet and talk to our faculty, staff, and students about various research projects while visiting our unique grape and wine facilities,” said Wample.

The event will conclude with lunch on the lawn area west of the Viticulture and Enology Building, provided by American Vineyard Magazine.

Industry sponsorships are available, ranging from $50 to $250. For more information, contact Cynthia Wood at 559.278.2089.

Grape Day presentations will include:

  • “Near Infrared Spectrometry to Facilitate Differential Quality and Harvest of Wine Grapes” by Wample. The technology creates quality maps that direct differential mechanical harvesting of wine grapes. Results of wine quality also will be presented.
  • “Use of Mechanical Pruning in the Production of Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Grapes” by Wample. This project explores the economic, vine growth and yield effects of three pruning treatments. Greg Berg from Oxbo International will also present the equipment used for the project.
  • “ABA and Color Enhancement” by Dr. Sanliang Gu. To date, researchers have been able to double the fruit and wine anthocyanin content and color.
  • “Application of Thermal Pest Control for Diseases and Insects on Table Grapes” by Dr. Jim Farrar and Dr. Andrew Lawson of the Plant Science Department. Brief applications of forced hot air are used to manage diseases and insects in tables grapes.
  • “Use of Flow-cytometry to Determine Concentration and Viability of Yeast and Bacteria in Wine” by Swetha Kamalini Kovvali, a graduate student. Flow cytometry is used to affect wine quality.
  • “Fresno State Students Participate in Swiss Summer University – A Report on This International Experience” by Lauren Thorpe and Kaleb Vanderham, viticulture and enology students. Twelve Fresno State students and two faculty members from the Department of Viticulture and Enology are visiting grape growing regions of Switzerland, Italy and France for four weeks.
  • “Look, Smell and Taste: An Inside Look at our Sensory Evaluation Lab Projects and Services” by Dr. Susan Rodriguez, a professor in the viticulture and enology program. A look at how the community gets involved in taste panels, and the on-campus sensory laboratory enhances academic and research programs and provides services to the grape and wine industry.
  • “Smart Irrigation System Controllers” by Ed Norum, of the Center for Irrigation Technology. He will review the development progress of irrigation system controllers designed to operate without human intervention.