Vineyard Tour With Dr. Andy Walker
In early September some winemakers, consultants and viticulturists were invited to tour the vineyards at UC Davis where Pierce’s disease (PD) resistant winegrape vines are being grown.
The grapes from these PD-resistant vines had just been harvested to make the 2013 vintage of wines.
The tour started with Dr. Andy Walker showing some of the parent plants in his breeding program. He discussed the pros and cons of using the different vines, while those on the tour were able to taste the ripe grapes from each vine to sample their individual characteristics.
Then the tour moved to vines that are at the end of the breeding process, about 20 of which were recently released to the UC Davis Foundation Plant Services. “It was fun to have people tour the vineyard and see what has been going on and get some feedback,” said Dr. Walker. “The PD-resistant vines are now virtually indistinguishable from vinifera and are making some really nice wines.”
PD/GWSS Board Votes on Red Blotch
During the June joint meeting of the PD/GWSS Board and the PD Advisory Task Force, the board voted on whether or not to designate red blotch disease as a threat to California’s winegrape industry. The vote tied 6 to 6. The board may take up the issue again during a future meeting.
One item that factored into the vote was the announcement by the American Vineyard Foundation of their funding of research projects related to red blotch. (see link to article below.)
If red blotch had been designated as a threat to California’s winegrape industry, it would have opened the way for PD/GWSS assessment funds to be used for research and outreach on the disease.