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E-news #008: Fall 2006

Executive Director Message

By Clare M. Hasler


Another beautiful autumn is upon us. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to enjoy the lovely weather for many weeks to come before the rain and fog begin!

Fall quarter on campus is always a time for new beginnings and we are certainly beginning to see some significant progress on the RMI academic building. Construction is now in full swing on the site next to Old Davis Road. I have been told that when the project is finished, more than 1,000 construction workers will have worked on the project! We are still on target for a May 2008 opening, so planning for that big event will get underway in earnest soon. In the meantime, an internet accessible webcam is now installed for your real-time viewing pleasure at:

Another big event coming up very soon is our Fall Lectureship, which will be held in the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, November 9. For this event, the theme will be “Beverages.” Three executives from different sectors of the industry will be discussing the opportunities and challenges facing them in today’s marketplace. We will also be treated to a sampling of those beverages during the luncheon in the beautiful Rumsey Rancheria Grand Lobby. I hope to see many of you there!

An excellent array of fine beverages, as well as food, was available for tasting at davisfest 2006 on October 15. The RMI was pleased to collaborate with the Davis Downtown Business Association for this inaugural event which also featured art and entertainment. Next year promises to be even better!

Clare M. Hasler Signature

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RMI Site Progress Report

By Allen Lowry and Clare Hasler

(l to r): Andy Waterhouse, interim chair, Viticulture & Enology; Bob Segar, assistant vice chancellor in the Office of Resource Management & Planning; Margrit Mondavi; Clare Hasler; and Charlie Bamforth, chair, Food Science & Technology visit the site on October 16

On October 16, Margrit Mondavi was given a private tour of the Robert Mondavi Institute construction site. Mrs. Mondavi was absolutely thrilled with the progress and scope of the project and stated many times how happy she was to see Robert Mondavi’s vision of a new state-of-the-art facility being realized.

The level of activity is increasing daily at the site. Several different construction trades and more than 100 construction workers are progressing toward completion. The project is on budget and scheduled for a May 2008 grand opening. Every week a new subcontractor trailer is added to the “trailer park” at the southeast corner of the site. Eventually there will be 20 trailers and almost 50 different trades on site simultaneously.

All remaining excavations have been completed, both for the spread footings and for utilities bringing electricity, gas, water, drainage, and heating and cooling to the three RMI buildings. Since all utilities pass through the basement, hundreds of pipes and conduits were run into that space before the 4-foot-thick “mat” slab was poured, consuming 562 cubic yards of material in addition to 80 tons of steel reinforcing. Completion of the basement walls and placement of concrete in footings in all three buildings are next on the agenda. An important milestone will be placement of first-floor concrete slabs by mid-December to allow for unimpeded work above grade during the wet winter months.

Margrit Mondavi holds a piece of rebar from the construction site given to her by two of the construction workers

An internet-accessible full-motion webcam was installed on September 1. It is available directly at or through the Architects and Engineers Web site, Go to the tab “Projects in Construction” and find “Web Cams” to click on the “Robert Mondavi Institute.”

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RMI to Host Fall 2006 Lectureship

We are pleased to announce the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science Fall 2006 Lectureship series. This time the event features three captivating speakers presenting viewpoints from three different sectors of the beverage industry.

Don Short founded and is president of The Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness, an affiliate of The Coca-Cola Company. As a global research organization, its mission is to help consumers throughout the world lead healthier lives through beverages.

Tom Shipley, senior director of Global Industry Development of Anheuser-Busch Companies develops strategy and tactics to enhance the image of beer among key audiences nationally and internationally, and helps generate growth in the beer industry.

Finally, Clay Gregory has more than 15 years of broad experience in the luxury, super- and ultra-premium segments of the wine industry. He is currently president of Jackson Family Wines, a collection consisting of more than a dozen independently owned and operated California wineries.

Please click on the following link for more information:

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Davisfest Delights

By Patricia Glass

(l to r): Brendan Mengali of Mengali's Florist, Jon Fenske of the Varsity Theatre, Laura Cole-Rowe of the Davis Downtown Business Association join Clare Hasler in toasting a successful event

Billed as a festival of food, wine, beer, entertainment, and art showcasing the best of Davis to the surrounding region, the RMI was proud to partner with the Davis Downtown Business Association for this inaugural event. Dozens of vendor booths provided shopping opportunities, as well as live music, food, beer and wine tasting, a “kidstown,” a fashion show, an artist showcase, and an online auction and raffles through eBay.

The bulk of the festival supplied guests with plenty of tasting opportunities of wine and beer for the cost of an armband. Wines from as far as Argentina, provided by the Davis Wine Company, and as near as Rominger West, which is opening a tasting room right here in Davis by the end of October, were represented. Anheuser-Busch was highly visible as well as local microbreweries BJ’s Brewhouse in Sacramento and Davis’ own Sudwerks. Attendance was estimated at more than 5,000 and the Davis Downtown Business Association organizers promise an even bigger festival in the years to come!

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The 40th Anniversary of the Robert Mondavi

By Clare M. Hasler


Robert Mondavi is the man most responsible for the worldwide recognition of American wines, and the Robert Mondavi Winery, founded in 1966, has become an enduring Napa Valley landmark. In July, the Robert Mondavi Winery celebrated 40 years of food, wine, and the arts during a spectacular three-day event honoring California’s wine and food industry.

The festivities began on Thursday, July 13, with an evening reception at COPIA, The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts. On Friday and Saturday, COPIA provided the perfect venue for Taste³, a landmark, interdisciplinary gathering of some of the world’s most dynamic professionals in wine, food, and the arts. Taste³ was conceived by Margrit Mondavi to honor Robert’s spirit of sharing knowledge, helping neighbors, and striving for greatness that will continue to push American wine and food to new heights. Mark your calendars for Taste³ 2007, May 6–9 at COPIA (

Saturday evening was the “Great Chefs of Robert Mondavi Winery” thirtieth anniversary gala dinner, held in the barrel room. The tribute began with a reception where large photographs of the chefs who have participated in the Great Chefs program were on display. Notable chefs include Julia Child, Thomas Keller, Wolfgang Puck, and Alice Waters.

The celebration concluded on Sunday, July 16, at the Robert Mondavi Winery with regional cuisine prepared by local chefs, special tour programs and sensory experiences, library wine tastings, entertainment, and of course, a toast to Robert Mondavi. Truly a fitting commemoration to 40 years of excellence!


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Darrell Corti Honored

Axel Borg, UC Davis Shields Library Wine Bibliographer


Darrell Corti, of Corti Brothers Imports in Sacramento, and an internationally recognized expert on Italian wines, was honored with the California State Fair Lifetime Achievement Award on July 13. Corti was recognized for his encouragement of the wine industry in the Sierra foothills, his promotion of Italian grape varieties in California, and his longtime newsletter, along with other boosts he has given the state’s wine trade.

Mr. Corti is a bibliophile, member of the Book Club of California, a sophisticated library user and researcher, and a great friend of the UC Davis library. He has donated a significant collection of materials to Special Collections relating to the wine trade in California and the United States.

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New Nutrition Research Laboratory at UC Davis

Excerpts from Pat Bailey, UC Davis News Service


The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) dedicated a new $25 million laboratory and office building for the agency's Western Human Nutrition Research Center (WHNRC) at the University of California, Davis, in August. ARS is the chief scientific research agency of USDA. The 49,000-square-foot structure is situated on two acres of the campus, enhancing collaboration with UC Davis faculty.

The WHNRC has about 90 scientists, technicians, and other specialists, including experts in nutrition, exercise physiology, chemistry, immunology, and related disciplines. According to center director Lindsay H. Allen, the researchers specialize in exploring new and healthful ways to fight obesity, America's No. 1 nutrition problem.

Allen says, “It is wonderful to have the group together again. The level of energy and enthusiasm is tangible, and comes from both the wonderful facilities that we have and the fact that we can communicate with each other so easily.” The new building has a large kitchen for preparing specialized meals for study volunteers, facilities where 12 study participants can live for extended periods of time, a physiology and body composition assessment laboratory, a human calorimeter, and equipment that enables investigators to measure short- and long-term responses to different foods and food constituents.

The ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center was established at the Presidio in San Francisco in 1980. The staff relocated to Davis in 1999, working in temporary quarters in nearly a dozen different buildings throughout the campus. The center is one of six national Human Nutrition Research Centers and the only one that is located on a land-grant university campus.

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Paul Montrone and Fisher Scientific Visit UC Davis Research Facility in Napa

By Darcie Bransford

Paul Montrone (left) of the RMI Honorary Board joins Darcie Bransford, Director of Major Gifts, Clare Hasler and Jim Wolpert of V&E at the Oakville Research Station

Paul Montrone, chairman and CEO of Fisher Scientific International, Inc. and a founding member of the RMI Honorary Board, visited the Oakville Research Station in the Napa Valley in September with members of the Fisher Scientific board of directors. The group celebrated the memory of former colleague Robert Barone with a visit to the Robert J. Barone Research Laboratory at the Oakville Station.

The laboratory was made possible by contributions from Fisher Scientific and many of Mr. Barone's friends. Barone served as the Vice President of Administration for Fisher until his death in 1995. He was a connoisseur of fine wines and loved California. The company's very generous donation included scientific equipment and laboratory furniture. The group of about 30 included board members and spouses, along with some of Robert Barone’s family members.

Montrone spoke very proudly of his involvement with UC Davis, the Department of Viticulture and Enology, and the RMI Honorary Board. He also expressed how pleased Mr. Barone would be to know that the laboratory named after him has dramatically enhanced the research capabilities of the Oakville Experimental Vineyard.

The 40-acre vineyard and Oakville Experimental Station enable the Department of Viticulture and Enology to conduct research in growing conditions similar to those experienced at many of California's premium wineries.

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Research\Faculty News

CA&ES Outstanding Teacher

Excerpted from CA&ES Currents, June 15, 2006 Edition


Congratulations to Gerald Russell who was named Outstanding Educator in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences by the Associated Students of UC Davis Excellence in Education Awards. Russell, who retired at the end of the 2005–06 academic year, was a senior lecturer in the Department of Food Science and Technology. He taught FST 10: Food Science, Folklore, and Health. For almost ten years, Russell taught more than 500 students per quarter. The department has asked Dr. Russell back to campus to teach this class one more year. This is the fourth year for this award competition, which honors outstanding teaching in each college. The competition is organized and run entirely by UC Davis students.

New Role for Linda Bisson

Excerpted from Dateline UC Davis, October 6 Edition


We would like to extend a hearty congratulations to Professor Linda Bisson, a professor in the Department of Viticulture and Enology, who assumes an additional role as the chair of the Davis division of the Academic Senate. Bisson joined the UC Davis faculty in 1985 and quickly became active in the senate. She has led the Oversight and Appellate subcommittees of the Committee on Academic Personnel, and also has served on the Committee on Research, the Committee on Courses of Instruction, and the graduate and undergraduate program review committees.

As mandated by the university's governing body, the board of regents, the faculty is empowered to determine academic policy, set conditions for admission and the granting of degrees, authorize and supervise courses and curricula, and advise the administration on faculty appointments, promotions, and budgets. This delegated authority makes the UC Academic Senate unique among faculty governments.

The Systemwide Academic Senate and the Divisional_Senates provide the organizational framework that enables the faculty to exercise its right to participate in the university's governance.

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Upcoming Events

RMI Fall 2006 Lectureship Information

Please see the article above for more detailed information. RSVP to Patricia: or (530) 754-6349 if you would like to attend this November 9 event.


May 6-9, 2007 - Napa Valley


A contemporary conference that creates an open forum where food and wine industry insiders, connoisseurs, and aficionados come together to experience wine, food, and art in new and inspiring contexts. Look for more information in the coming months at

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"RMI wine and food bytes: News from the cutting edge of wine and food science" is the newsletter of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at the University of California, Davis. It is distributed quarterly. Please feel free to share the newsletter with your colleagues in the wine and food sciences.

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