Winemakers, grape growers, pest control advisers and other viticulture and enology professionals will gather Aug. 14 at Fresno State for the biennial Grape Day to learn about the latest research into crop forcing, nematodes, grape-rot measurement and mechanization.

The event, presented by the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology’s Department of Viticulture and Enology, will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the department’s building at 2360 E. Barstow Ave. (between Cedar and Maple avenues).

Practical indoor and outdoor presentations and poster presentations by Fresno State faculty, staff and graduate students will cover a broad array of topics.

Grape Day presentations by Fresno State faculty include:

  •  Dr. Sanliang Gu, holder of the Ricchiuti Chair of Viticulture, will discuss “Crop Forcing – Yield and Cultural Practices” and his work on introducing degree-hours to better interpret heat accumulation and thermal distribution of regions and vintages for wine grape production.
  • Dr. Sonet Van Zyl, the department’s newest faculty member, will present her recent work on nematode infestations, published in the South African Journal of Enology and Viticulture, which is a pest issue important to San Joaquin Valley grape growers.
  • Dr. Kaan Kurtural, who holds the Bronco Wine Co. Viticulture Chair, and his team will discuss vineyard mechanization, focusing on economically consistent yields for large-scale grape growing. “As labor supply declines, vineyard mechanization has come into prominence,” said Kurtural.
  • Drs. Roy Thornton and Susan Rodriguez will discuss a promising new method of quantifying grape rot from truck gondolas at the winery sugar stand, another key grape and wine industry concern. “This work is reducing the gap in our industry’s knowledge of assessing rot,” said Dr. Jim Kennedy, chair of Viticulture and Enology.
  • Dr. Anil Shrestha, a plant science professor, will discuss nonchemical and chemical options, efficiency and economics of alternative weed management in organic wine- and raisin-grape vineyards.

Tours of the Fresno State Winery and V.E. Petrucci Library will also be available.

The event is open to industry professionals and students. Admission is $20 general and $15 for students, which includes refreshments and a barbecue lunch sponsored by American Vineyard magazine. Continuing education hours have been approved by the state Department of Pesticide Regulations for private applicators and those with PCA, QC and QL licenses.

For information and to register, click here.

Additional information is available by contacting event coordinator Cynthia Wood at 559.278.2089 or

(University Communications news assistant Samantha Gibson, an agriculture communications major, contributed to this copy.)

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