Each term OWRI hosts a series of seminars detailing updates of current research or research outcomes from grape and wine research activities. Each seminar content is delivered by researchers from a range of organizations. These seminars are free of charge and everyone is welcome to attend. If you can't attend in person, join us online. There is no software to download, and the presentation recordings are posted here on this page for later viewing.

Questions or comments? Contact Denise L. Dewey 


2017 Summer Seminar

Rootstocks: What role do they play in abiotic stress and nutrient uptake?
Dr. Landry Rossdeutsch, Research Associate, Dept. of Horticulture, OSU
July 7, 2017

Dr. Landry Rossdeutsch is the OWRI viticulture postdoc collaborating with Dr. Paul Schreiner, Research Plant Physiologist, USDA-ARS; Dr. Patricia Skinkis, Associate Professor and Viticulture Extension Specialist at OSU, and Dr. Laurent Deluc, Associate Professor.  In this seminar, he will present his PhD thesis on scion/rootstock interactions under water deficit conditions before discussing his current research project on nitrogen-driven vigor in grapevines. 

Primarily used against soil-borne diseases and pests, rootstocks have become a powerful tool to manage grapevine growth and improve wine quality in a wide range of climate and edaphic conditions. Rootstocks impact the whole vine physiology by providing water and nutrients to the scion, but the nature of the underlying mechanisms leading to scion growth is still poorly understood. For instance, responses of grafted vines to water stress are not always consistent among vineyards, which suggests a strong impact of environmental conditions in the relationship between the scion and the rootstock.

In Oregon, understanding the root/shoot coordinated growth in the context of nitrogen driven vigor is a critical step to identifying suitable scion/rootstock combination to improve Pinot noir production in Oregon. Biomass allocation between root and shoot involve a complex interaction between carbon and nitrogen resources wherein scion and rootstocks respectively, play the predominant role. Watch the presentation


2017 Spring Seminar 

Role of Auxin-Response Factor 4 (ARF4) in the Ripening Process of Grape Berry
Dr. Laurent Deluc, Associate Professor, Dept. of Horticulture, OSU
April 25, 2017  

Despite extensive documentation on major physiological changes occurring at the ripening onset (véraison) of grape berry development, the genetic mechanisms controlling these changes remain poorly understood. It is largely admitted that ripening initiation is a combination of various factors involving internal and external signals. 

This long-term project will exploit a new genetic model, the microvine, which is more amenable for genetic engineering, and will be apart of a new collaboration between OSU, OWRI and the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia). Using this genetic approach, we hope to determine the role of ARF4 in the control of ripening initiation and its likely influence on fruit composition towards maturity. The sources of funding for this project include the Oregon Wine Board, the Erath Family Foundation, and the Fermentation Initiative by the State of Oregon. Watch the presentation

2017 Winter Seminars 

Fungicide Resistance 
Dr. Walt Mahaffee, Research Plant Pathologist, USDA ARS HCRL and Dr. Jay Pscheidt, OSU Professor & Extension Plant Pathology Specialist
March 28, 2017

In 2015, we received a number of reports of powdery mildew not responding to FRAC 11 fungicide applications (Abound, Flint, Sovran). Samples from these vineyards had E. necator isolated that were resistance to both FRAC 11 and FRAC 3 fungicides (Tebucon, Procure, Rally, Vintage, Inspire Super). Further surveys of the Willamette Valley, Southern Oregon, and Hood River, indicated that greater than 80% of vineyards had E. necator populations with both FRAC 3 and FRAC 11 resistance population. In 2016, there were several control failures in vineyards that were again shown to be associated with E. necator populations resistant to both FRAC 3 and FRAC 11 fungicides. These data indicate these fungicide groups may not be managing grape powdery mildew as well as expected. 

A recent OWB research bulletin alerted growers about this potential problem and many have expressed concern and the need for more information and recommendations. In order to provide these, OWRI is presenting an information and Q&A webinar with Dr. Walt Mahaffee, Research Plant Pathologist at the USDA Agriculture Research Service horticulture unit in Corvallis; and Dr. Jay Pscheidt, OSU Extension Plant Pathology Specialist. Together they will provide research background on powdery mildew resistance, and recommendations, and answer questions from webinar participants. Watch the presentation


Red Blotch Virus Status & Update
March 2, 2017

Red Blotch is a growing concern to the wine industry in Oregon and across the U.S. To address local concerns, OWRI is offering a live, interactive webinar that will feature short presentations from the following OWRI researchers:

  • Dr. Bob Martin, plant pathologist, USDA-ARS, will provide an overview of the virus.
  • Daniel Dalton, Senior Faculty Research Assistant Entomology, Walton Lab-OSU, will talk about current research to identify insect vectors of the virus.
  • Dr. Alex Levin, viticulturist, OSU- Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, will give an update on grapevine impacts of the virus and potential management practices.
  • Rick Hilton and Dr. Achala KC, OSU-Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, will talk about their research and the impact of the virus in their region.
  • Dr. Dipak Poudyal, plant pathologist, ODA, will speak about Red Blotch surveys, analysis service and updates to the grape quarantine and vine certification regulations.

Watch the recording here


Soluble Cell Wall Polysaccharides in Wines: Origins, Structures and Mouthfeel Properties
Dr. Cynthia (Cyd) Yonker, Senior Research Scientist for the Viticulture, Chemistry, and Enology department of E. & J. Gallo Winery
Dr. Hui (Helen) Feng, Research Scientist I for the Viticulture, Chemistry, and Enology department of E. & J. Gallo Winery
February 14, 2017

Wine soluble cell wall polysaccharides (SCWPs), which are derived from the cell walls of both grapes and yeast, are of great interest because of their organoleptic properties such as increasing the wine “fullness” mouthfeel sensation. These polysaccharides can be classified as non-cellulosic polysaccharides and consist of complex and heterogeneous polymers. They are resistant to fermentation conditions and soluble in the wine matrix. It has been reported that some characteristics of wine SCWPs are similar to those of commercial polysaccharides, such as pectin isolated from citrus, the hydrocolloid properties of which improves the mouthfeel and texture of processed foods and beverages. The composition of SCWPs was deduced using the glycosyl linkage analysis. Samples were permethylated, reduced, depolymerized and acetylated before the resultant partially methylated alditol acetates (PMAAs) were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). This work was completed by Hui Chong for her dissertation for the University of Adelaide. 


2016 OWRI Video Newsletter

The 2016 OWRI Video Newsletter is now available. This newsletter contains a recap of team member's activities throughout the year, as well as a recap of our outreach activities. To view, click here 


2016 Fall Seminar

The northern Root-knot Nematode Prefers Chardonnay: Insights into Nematode Biology and Management in Semi-arid wine grape vineyards
Dr. Inga Zasada, Research Plant Pathologist, USDA-ARS
October 20, 2016

Plant-parasitic nematodes are economically important root parasites of grape vines with global losses due to nematodes estimated at 10%. While plant-parasitic nematodes are widely distributed in Washington semi-arid wine grape vineyards, there is a lack of biological data to support grower management decisions. Information on the host status of rootstocks for the northern root-knot nematode, spatial distribution of nematodes in vineyards, and nematode developmental biology was presented. To watch the seminar, click here. 


2016 Summer Seminar

Berry Sensory Assessment: A Valuable Tool in Grape and Wine Production
Dr. Sandra Milena Olarte Mantilla, The University of Adelaide School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
July 8, 2016

Berry sensory assessment (BSA) is a tool that can be used to assist in the evaluation of grape quality, however little published information exists on BSA characteristics of established grape cultivars. Dr Olarte Mantilla presented the results of her PhD research on BSA at the University of Adelaide. Her PhD research focused on identifying relationships between berry and wine sensory assessment. Dr. Olarte Mantilla also presented the current status of research incorporating BSA as tool for evaluation of viticulture practices. Watch the presentation

Spring Seminars

The wait for a host: Understanding Erysiphe necator Overwintering and Early Season Inoculum Release
Lindsey Thiessen, Ph.D student, Mahaffee Lab
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.  Watch the presentation

Development of a Mechanistic Vineyard Simulation Tool to Support Improved Management Decisions
Brian Bailey, USDA-ARS, Horticultural Crops Research Unit
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. Watch the presentation

Winter Seminars

Powdery Mildew: Biology and Management 
Dr. Michelle Moyer, Assistant Professor & Extension Viticulturist; Washington State University Department of Viticulture and Enology
March 8, 2016

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. Watch the presentation

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
February 2, 2016

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. Watch the presentation

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

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

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
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. Watch the presentation

Summer Seminar:

Using Molecular Viticulture to Understand and Manage Grape Ripening
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. Watch the presentation

Spring Seminars:

From nursery to the vineyard: study and management of grapevine trunk diseases in British Columbia
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. Watch the presentation.

Chiral Monoterpenes in Pinot gris Wines​
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.  Watch the presentation.

Finding the Sweet Spot for Nutrient Status of Pinot noir
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. Watch the presentation.
Malolactic fermentation and Its Impact on Color, Color Stability, and Microbial Spoilage in Red Wine
Presented 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. Watch the presentation.

Fall Seminars:

Yield Management: A Story From the Vine’s Perspective
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. Watch the presentation.
Time of Flowering and Seed Content Contribute to Variable Entry of Pinot noir Fruits into the Ripening Phase
Amanda Vondras, Ph.D. student, OSU Department of Horticulture 
November 12, 2014
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. 


Summer Seminars:

Variation in Tartaric and Malic Acid Concentrations in Grape Berries
Emily Higginson, PhD Candidate, Univesity of Adelaide
Monday, August 4
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. Watch the presentation
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 the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and founder of the alternative textbook initiative, RebelText.org. 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

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.

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