Seminars from the Oregon Wine Research Institute

Each term OWRI hosts a series of seminars related to viticulture and enology. These seminars are free of charge and everyone is welcome to attend. If you can't attend in person, join us online. Each seminar is streamed live through Adobe Connect. There is no software to download, and participants can type in their questions for the presenter in real time. Presentation recordings are posted here on this page for later viewing.

Questions or comments? Contact Danielle Gabriel, Communications and Outreach Manager at


Spring Seminar:

The wait for a host: Understanding Erysiphe necator Overwintering and Early Season Inoculum Release
Lindsey Thiessen, Ph.D student, Mahaffee Lab 
Monday, May 9, 2016

Grape powdery mildew, caused by Erysiphe necator, is a polycyclic disease that causes economic losses related to the costs of management and damage to grapes. The epidemic begins with release of ascospores from the overwintering cleistothecia. Understanding the conditions for cleistothecia development, maturation, and ascospore release is important to optimize initiation of fungicide applications prior to disease development, as well as maintaining ecologically conscious management practices. Graduate student Lindsey Thiessen will discuss her field experiments assessing the effect of  environmental conditions and plant growth regulating hormones on cleistothecia development, and the model developed to predict ascospore release based on environmental conditions.
View the seminar here:​

Development of a Mechanistic Vineyard Simulation Tool to Support Improved Management Decisions
Brian Bailey,  USDA-ARS, Horticultural Crops Research Unit  
Thursday, April 21, 2016

Each growing season, a vineyard manager makes a set of interconnected decisions (e.g., watering schedule, pruning, pesticide application, fertilization) that guide their crops throughout the year. These decisions are usually made based on incomplete information, as there are too many variables to feasibly be considered by a manager.  Growers would benefit from the development of a comprehensive simulation tool that can be used to analyze current and proposed management strategies that reduce water use, control diseases and pests, adapt to climate change, or optimize yields. Current agricultural models are either too simplistic or they are too computationally expensive to simulate field- and seasonal-scales. Brian Bailey discussed his research aimed at overcoming these limitations by combining sophisticated engineering models for radiation transfer, convection, turbulent dispersion, etc. with the efficiency afforded by graphics processing unit (GPU) technology.  The resulting modeling tool is unprecedented in terms of its physical realism and computational efficiency, and has the potential to change the way that management decisions are made in the industry. View here:

Winter Seminars: 

Powdery Mildew: Biology and Management 
Dr. Michelle Moyer, Assistant Professor & Extension Viticulturist; Washington State University Department of Viticulture and Enology  

Powdery mildew remains a concern for grape growers and can be difficult manage. Populations of Erysiphe necator cleistothecia can burst open and release ascospores over an extended period of time ranging from fall through late spring. These ascospores are an important source of primary inoculum for grapevine powdery mildew epidemics. Dr. Moyer will discuss the role of primary inoculum in grape powdery mildew epidemics; focusing on the biology of inoculum arrival, and how weather and management choices influence subsequent epidemic development. To watch this presentation, visit the link below:​


Fungal Sex Could Resist Your Advances (Fungicide Resistance Management is Complicated)
Dr. Jay Pscheidt, Professor; Extension Plant Pathology Specialist; OSU Department of Botany and Plant Pathology 

Fungicide resistance became a priority this past summer with several documented powdery mildew management failures in vineyards. Several new fungicides have been registered for grapes and some of these contain two active ingredients, and many of the new ingredients are at high risk of encouraging the development of resistant fungal pathogens. These new combinations represent a challenge for sustained plant disease management. In this seminar, Dr. Pscheidt discussed ideas on how to best utilize these materials in the upcoming season. To watch this presentation, visit the link below:

The information provided in these inks are also useful when viewing the seminar:

Link to Fungicide Families or Groups in the Pacific Northwest Plant Disease Management Handbook:

Link to the Fruit and Ornamental Disease Management Testing Program website that has much of the data presented (as well as many other trials):

Statewide Crop Load Project: Impacts of Pinot Noir Yield Management on Vine Productivity and Fruit Composition at Harvest
Presented by: Dr. Patty Skinkis, Viticulture Extension Specialist and Associate Professor, OSU

The Statewide Crop Load Project was established in 2012 as a large grower-collaborative study to determine the long-term impacts of yield management on fruit composition, wine quality, and vine productivity of Pinot noir. A total of 14 businesses have joined the project to date and implemented the experiment across 15 commercial vineyards, spanning 5 AVAs within the Willamette Valley. Each collaborator implemented two or more yield levels on-site by cluster thinning at lag phase each year. Basic vine growth parameters were recorded, and fruit was produced into wine for sensory analysis. Result from the first three years of the project (2012-2014) were shared during this presentation. To watch the presentation, visit this link:

Summer Seminar:

Using Molecular Viticulture to Understand and Manage Grape Ripening
Presented by: Dr. Simone D. Castellarin, Assistant Professor, Wine Research Centre, The University of British Columbia

This seminar considers how deficit irrigation strategies affect fruit ripening and modulate phenolic and aromatic production in red and white grapes. New approaches that combine open field trials and large scale metabolite and gene expression analyses were also discussed.  These studies can help viticulturists to resolve and understand the complex biological processes that regulate fruit ripening and composition under different climates and develop new strategies for improving grape quality in the vineyard. To watch the presentation visit this link: 

Spring Seminars:

From nursery to the vineyard: study and management of grapevine trunk diseases in British Columbia
Presented By: Dr. José Ramón Úrbez Torres, Research Plant Pathologist, Science and Technology Branch, 
Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Canada  
Grapevines are the second largest fruit crop in British Columbia, and future economic sustainability depends on the production of high quality wines. Growers face two significant challenges: producing award winning wines under BC’s short-season growing conditions and winter temperatures occasionally dropping below -20°C, causing serious injury to Vitis vinifera. These challenges have long been associated with grapevine decline, yield losses and poor fruit quality. As a result, grapevine trunk diseases have long been overlooked in BC as one of the factors contributing to grapevine dieback and consequent plant mortality.     

Development and implementation of effective control strategies are the focus of this research, along with assisting grapevine nurseries in identifying primary inoculum sources throughout the different steps of the grapevine propagation process. These studies will help on the development and implementation of an effective integrated management strategy against GTD at the nursery level. View online here:
Chiral Monoterpenes in Pinot gris Wines​
Presented by: Dr. Elizabeth Tomasino, Assistant Professor, OSU Department of Food Science and Technology

Dr. Tomasino discussed her research in discovering the importance of chiral monoterpenes in Pinot gris and Riesling. These compounds contribute to floral, citrus, and fruity aromas in aromatic white wines. To analyze these compounds, Elizabeth developed a quantitative method using chemical analysis and measured the compounds in wine. Differences in chiral terpene content were investigated based on region of origin, vintage and sugar content.  View online here:

Finding the Sweet Spot for Nutrient Status of Pinot noir
Presented by: Dr. Paul Schreiner, USDA-ARS Plant Physiologist
Dr. Schreiner summarized his findings from research trials designed to better define nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium requirements for Pinot noir, and how varying these nutrients alters vine performance and berry/wine composition. View online here:   
Malolactic fermentation and Its Impact on Color, Color Stability, and Microbial Spoilage in Red Wine
Prestented by: Dr. James Osborne, Enology Extension Specialist and Associate Professor, OSU Department of Food Science and Technology
Malolactic fermentation may result in a decrease in polymeric pigment and color in red wines and delaying malolactic fermentation may lessen this color loss. However, delaying malolactic fermentation also means delaying the addition of SO2 which may increase the risk of microbial spoilage. Dr. Osborne also discussed interactions between the spoilage yeast Brettanomyces and the malolactic bacteria Oenococcus oeni and the effect of these interactions on formation of volatile phenols. View online here:

Fall Seminars:

Yield Management: A Story From the Vine’s Perspective
Presented by: Dr. Patty Skinkis, Viticulture Extension Specialist and Associate Professor, OSU Department of Horticulture  
The yield-quality relationship is of paramount importance to achieve quality fruit consistently in Oregon's Pinot noir producing regions, or so we think. Each year, growers and winemakers toil over yield estimates followed by cluster thinning to reach strict target yields that are thought to ensure high quality grapes and wine. However, what is the ultimate result of this practice... better wines, vine balance, sustainable growth and less fertilizer and fungicide inputs? This seminar will report results of yield management research conducted from 2011-2013 with focus on impacts on vine growth, balance, and fruit composition. View online here:
Time of Flowering and Seed Content Contribute to Variable Entry of Pinot noir Fruits into the Ripening Phase
Presented by: Amanda Vondras, Ph.D. student, OSU Department of Horticulture 
Amanda Vondras is pursuing a Ph.D. in Dr. Laurent Deluc's lab, and she will present on the relationship between flowering time and grape berry ripening, which will highlight the physiology of the uneven flowering of a grape cluster and its consequence on grape berry ripening. View online here:


Summer Seminars:

Monday, August 4
3:30 PM, Kidder 202
Variation in Tartaric and Malic Acid Concentrations in Grape Berries
Presented By: Emily Higginson
PhD Candidate
University of Adelaide 
Emily Higginson is a PhD candidate supervised by Chris Ford of the University of Adelaide and Mark Thomas of CSIRO Agriculture Flagship (formally Plant Industry). She completed her BSc (Honours) at the University of Adelaide majoring in Biochemistry and Genetics.
Organic acids are important to the flavor of grapes and wine and aid in the prevention of microbial spoilage during fermentation, with tartaric acid and malic acid accounting for 90% of the acidity in grape berries. During post-veraison, malic acid begins breaking down and this breakdown may accelerate during the growing season with higher temperatures. The resulting decrease in acid increases the pH of the juice and, in Australia, tartaric acid is added to the juice at considerable cost to lower the pH during winemaking.  
The cost of adding tartaric acid during winemaking is predicted to increase due to climate change, which, as a result of higher temperatures, may accelerate malic acid breakdown, leading to a higher pH of juice at harvest and increasing the amount of tartaric acid added to achieve a low pH. The genes involved in acid metabolism could be used in breeding programs to increase the acid concentration of berries and raise the pH of juice counteracting this problem. It is also well-documented that tartaric acid and malic acid concentrations vary between different cultivars of grapevine, and this variation may be used to discover genes involved in acid metabolism. 
Wednesday, June 5
3:30 PM, Kidder 202
The End of Farm Labor Abundance
Presented By: J. Edward Taylor
Director, Rural Economics of the Americas and Pacific Rim (REAP)
Agricultural and Resource Economics Department
University of California - Davis
J. Edward Taylor is Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis, where he teaches courses on international development economics and econometric methods. He is also co-editor of theAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics and founder of the alternative textbook initiative, Taylor has written extensively on the economy-wide impacts of agricultural and development policies and on immigration.  He co-authored Village Economies:  The Design, Estimation and Use of Villagewide Economic Models(Cambridge University Press) and Worlds in Motion:  Understanding  International Migration at the End of the Millenium (Oxford University Press). 

Winter Term Seminar Series: January - March, 2013

January 17, 2013
Scott Burns, Portland State University
"The Importance of Soil and Geology in Tasting Terroir, a Case Study from the Willamette Valley"
Listen to a recording of the seminar HERE

January 30, 2013
3:30 PM, ALS 012
Melodie Putnam, Director, Oregon State University Plant Clinic
"Grapevine trunk diseases - what do we know of them in Oregon?"
Listen to a recording of the seminar HERE.

February 12, 2013
3:30 PM, Wiegand 106
Clark Seavert, Director, NW Agribusiness Executive Seminar
"AgFinance. It is more than about profit"
Visit the AgTools website:


Fall Term Seminar Series: October - November, 2012

October 17, 2012
10:00 AM, ALS 4000
Gerhard Pietersen, Professor of Enology, Citrus Research International, Pretoria
"TheSpread and Control of Grapevine Leafroll Disease in South Africa"
Watch Recording


Spring Term Seminar Series: April - June 2012

April 17th, 2012
Harper Hall, MS student in Enology, Dept. of Food Science and Technology, Oregon State University
"Isolation and Identification of Non-Saccharomyces Yeast with β-glucosidase activity and their impact on Pinot noir Wine Aroma"
Watch the Recording

May 2nd, 2012
Andy Gallagher, Red Hills Soil
"Updates on Soil Mapping Technologies"
Watch the Recording - We had some difficulty with the microphone during this presentation, the recording gets better half way through.

May 15th, 2012 - 4:00 PM- 5:00 PM
Wiegand Hall, room 106
Matt Strickland, MS Student in Enology, Department of Food Science and Technology, Oregon State University
"Impacts of Pediococcus spp. on Oregon Pinot noir"
Watch the Recording

 6th, 2012 - 3:30 pm
Wiegand Hall, room 238
Kelli Wagner, MAg student, OSU Department of Horticulture
"Evaluating the Economics and Use of Vineyard Pruning Technologies"
Watch the Recording


Winter Term Seminar Series: January - March 2012

March 7th, 2012
Carolyn Ross, Assistant Professor of Food Science & Human Nutrition, Washington State University Pullman, WA
"The Impact of Wine Components on Wine Quality"
Watch the Recording

January 17th, 2012
Claudio Ioriatti, Senior Scientist and Head of the Experiment Area at Center for Technology, Transfer, FEM-IASMA S.Michele all'Adige, Italy
"European Grapevine Moth in Italian Vineyards, Our Path Away From Pesticides"
Watch the Recording


Fall Term Seminar Series: October - November, 2011

November 2nd, 2011
Thomas Henick-Kling, PhD, Professor of Enology, Washington State University
"The Washington State University Wine Research Program and the Washington Wine Industry"
Watch the Recording

November 16th, 2011
Ed Peachey, Assistant Professor, OSU Department of Horticulture
"Weed Management in Vineyards. Good, Bad or Ugly?"
Watch the Recording

November 30th, 2011
Nick Dokoozlian, Vice President of Viticulture, E. & J. Gallo Winery
"The Research and Development Process of the Wine Industry"
Watch the Recording


Winter and Spring Term Seminar Series: January - May, 2011

Jan 19, 2011
Andrew Plantinga, Professor & Robin M. Cross, Postdoctoral Research Associate
OSU Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
"The Value of Terroir: Hedonic Estimation with Data on Vineyard Sale Prices"
View Presentation Slides

Feb 2, 2011
Clark Seavert, Professor & Director, NW Agribusiness Executive Seminar
OSU Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics
"AgToolsTM for Measuring Economic and Financial Success in the Wine Industry"

Feb 8, 2011
Laurent Deluc, Assistant Professor, OSU Department of Horticulture
"Berry variability: A Phenomenon to Explain Berry Ripening?"

Feb 16, 2011
Jason Tosch, Director of Viticulture, Anne Amie Vineyards, Carlton, Oregon
"Update on the Low-Impact Viticulture and Enology (LIVE) Program"
View Presentation Slides

Mar 2, 2011
Alan Bakalinsky, Associate Professor, OSU Department of Food Science and Technology
"Biofilm Formation by a Flor Wine Strain of the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae"
View Presentation Slides

Mar 9, 2011
Michael McIntosh, L.S. Keker Excellence Professor, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Department of Nutrition
"The Bioactive Components of Grapes and Their Anti-inflammatory Actions"
Watch the Recording

April 4, 2011
David Gadoury, Senior Research Associate, Cornell University, Department of Plant Pathology and Microbe Biology
"Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Grape Powdery Mildew and Several Things you Really Need to Forget"
Watch the Recording

April 20, 2011
Angela Gadino, Graduating PhD student, OSU Department of Horticulture
"Enhancing Pest Mite Biological Control by T. pyri in Pacific Northwest Vineyards"
Watch the Recording

May 4, 2011
Lisa Hall, Senior Editor, Wine Business Monthly
"A Journalist's Point of View: Observing the Growth of the Oregon Wine Industry"
Watch the Recording

May 18, 2011
Tresider Burns, Master of Enololgy Student, OSU Department of Food Science and Technology
“Impact of Malolactic Fermentation on Red Wine Color and Color Stability”
Watch the Recording