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E-news #012: Fall 2007

Executive Director Message

By Clare M. Hasler


If you haven't driven past the RMI construction site recently I urge you to do so. The progress over the last three months has been incredible! Most notably the buildings now have windows and paint. And, as Alan Lowry states below, the vibrant plaster finish will mellow over time and will contrast beautifully with the greenery of the future vineyard and the courtyard. We are so grateful for the support of all the donors who have made this project possible. Most recently, gifts totaling over $1 million have been pledged in support of the Anheuser-Busch Brewing and Food Science Laboratory (detailed below by Melissa Haworth).

Although the move-in date is still months away, several RMI activities will occur in the interim. First and foremost is the Fall 2007 Lectureship, which will be held in the Studio Theatre of the Mondavi Center on Monday, November 19. The lectures will take place in the afternoon, followed by a reception, so be sure to note your calendar accordingly. We expect high attendance due to the broad consumer appeal of the topics that will be presented, so sign up soon. If you can't attend, the event will be videotaped for the RMI website.

Another noteworthy event scheduled for November is the strategic symposium, "Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: Is It a Matter of Taste?" hosted by the RMI Center for Fruit and Vegetable Quality. This is the official launch event for the center, which is led by Cooperative Extension specialist Diane Barrett. You can view more detailed information about the symposium at the center website:

The RMI Center for Wine Economics and Business, led by associate professor Rachael Goodhue, recently co-sponsored its first major symposium, attracting speakers from five countries. The International Conference on World Wine Markets, held at UC Davis in August, focused on competitive forces affecting the wine and winegrape industries. The conference program and PowerPoint presentations are available here.

The last exciting bit of RMI center news is that the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Office of Research have committed three years of seed funding to establish an Olive Center. The mission of the RMI Olive Center will be to enhance the economic viability of the California olive industry in a competitive international marketplace. Dan Flynn, the manager of UC Davis Olive Oil, will serve as the executive director, working in concert with two co-directors, professors Charlie Shoemaker and Vito Polito. Information on the Olive Center will be on the RMI website very soon.

I look forward to seeing you at the Fall 2007 Lectureship.

Clare's Signature

RMI Construction Update

By Allen Lowry, UC Davis Architects and Engineers


COLOR! You cannot miss the Robert Mondavi Institute academic building if you try.

By the end of October, all of the cement plaster finish coat was applied. There are three colors used on the three buildings, two colors per building. Each building has a different combination of yellows, all combined with the warm grey of the window frames and roof elements, and the bright zinc roof and screen wall metal. All colors will mellow out with time and with the development of the landscape. Right now, it has that surreal "new-car feel."

The North Lab building continues to be the farthest along. All interior utilities, partitions, and windows are in place. We now await the arrival of laboratory casework in early November. Delivery of this will take two months and installation and fitting of the cabinets and tops will continue into early June 2008. The South Lab building is about five weeks behind the North Lab, and the Sensory building is about four weeks behind.

Early hints of winter weather are only a minor cause for alarm, as most walls and all roofs are secure. We are optimistic that work will continue at top speed and are still hoping for an early summer 2008 move-in.

RMI Launches Olive Center

By Clare M. Hasler


Charles Shoemaker
Dan Flynn

The UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Office of Research are providing three years of seed funding to establish the UC Davis Olive Center within the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. Seed funding has also been provided by Corto Olive, the California Olive Oil Council, and the California Olive Ranch. In addition, UC Davis Olive Oil is working with Alfa Laval and the campus to obtain olive oil processing equipment that will be housed at the center. This will allow the very popular UC Davis Olive Oil to be processed on campus next fall rather than at a commercial facility 90 miles away.

Discussions about establishing an Olive Center have been ongoing since early this year. UC Davis is uniquely positioned to house such a center. The campus has vast expertise in this subject, manages a very successful olive oil production program, and stewards the most extensive collection of olive trees in North America. The Olive Center will bring cohesion to the efforts of the many UC Davis experts who are conducting olive-related research and will also further explore the relationship between olive oil and health. To date, more than 30 faculty and staff have expressed interest in participating in the Olive Center.

The mission of the Olive Center will be to enhance the economic viability of the California olive industry in a competitive international marketplace. Initial priorities for the center will be to strengthen olive oil labeling statutes in California, develop economically viable and sustainable options for managing olive mill waste, and identifying better lab methods for detecting adulterated olive oil. "The Olive Center will help all olive producers, big and small, tackle the pressing challenges facing the industry," said Alan Greene, president of the California Olive Oil Council and a vice president of the California Olive Ranch.

Center goals include: (1) promoting increased market share of California olive oil through research and education; (2) expanding research and education on the production, nutrition, health benefits, economics, horticulture, quality standards, and appreciation of olive oil and table olives; (3) maximizing the effectiveness of university resources by coordinating a multidisciplinary team of olive experts; (4) helping industry producers by developing sensory criteria for the evaluation of olive oil that will maximize marketability; and (5) educating consumers nationwide regarding the characteristics, uses, and health benefits of olive oils produced in California.

The Executive Director of the Olive Center will be Dan Flynn, who currently manages the UC Davis Olive Oil Program). Professor Charles Shoemaker of the Department of Food Science and Technology (and past chair of the department) and Professor Vito Polito of the Department of Plant Sciences (past chair of the former pomology department) will serve as co-directors of the center.

The UC Davis Olive Center promises to be an important addition to the campus at an opportune time for the olive industry.

RMI Announces Fall 2007 Lectureship

By Patricia Glass

Arthur Klatsky
Solomon Katz

The Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science is proud to announce the Fall 2007 Lectureship. The event will be held in the Mondavi Center Studio Theatre on the afternoon of Monday, November 19, 2007. Two renowned experts will be featured. Dr. Arthur Klatsky, cardiologist with the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, will address the question, "Is abstinence from beer and wine hazardous to your health?" Professor Solomon Katz from the University of Pennsylvania and editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Food and Culture will discuss "Origins of agriculture: the rise of civilization and the evolution of cuisine."

Join us for what promises to be a very informative and enjoyable afternoon. The lectures will be followed by a reception in the Rumsey-Rancheria Lobby of the Mondavi Center. Please refer to the agenda ( for detailed information.


Delegation from a Danish Food Innovation Network Visit UC Davis

By Clare M. Hasler

Visitors from Denmark join Clare at UC Davis

Ten representatives of the Danish Food Innovation Network Foodture (, located in Vejle in Southern Denmark visited UC Davis on September 12-13, 2007. The group met with several UC Davis faculty and institute directors and toured the campus, including the construction site of the new RMI academic building.

Foodture was established in 2004 by the Foodstuff organizations in Vejle; the Danish Innovation Group (Confederation of Danish Industries); the Business Academy of Southern Denmark: the Region of Vejle; Carlsberg Ltd. (beer); and Gumlink (dental chewing gum). The food sector historically has been very important in the region of Southern Denmark. Foodture was established to bridge the food industry and knowledge organizations, both within the region and to external knowledge institutions and enterprises.

Visitors included Lars Funder, chairman of Foodture; Kim Toft Anderson, managing director of Foodture; Steen Rosenstand Hansen, R&D director, Glud & Marstrand A/S; Henry Franzen, sales director and co-owner, Farre A/S, his wife Ulla Franzen; Mette Reimer, co-owner of Pack Design; Jens Eybye, Horsens Innovation & Business Center; Stefan Brendstrup, Regional Business Development Programme, Southern Denmark; Olav Sønderskov, consultant, Region of Southern Denmark; and Helle Knudsen, coordinator for International Relations and Culture.

Additional Donors Pledge Support for Anheuser-Busch Brewing and Food Science Laboratory

By Melissa Haworth


Through the generous support of donors, we are nearing the $10 million fundraising goal to build the Anheuser-Busch Brewing and Food Science Laboratory. The campus plans to break ground on this facility in 2008 so that faculty and students can use the laboratory starting in 2009 to conduct research and teaching benefiting the brewing and food processing industries in California and beyond.

Individuals and companies from the tomato processing industry have been especially generous donors to the project and over the past month, have pledged an additional $750,000 to support construction. Chris Rufer of The Morning Star Packing Company has pledged $500,000, and H. J. Heinz Company and the H. J. Heinz Company Foundation will add $250,000. This is in addition to the $250,000 commitment from Los Gatos Tomato Products and $100,000 from an anonymous industry donor all to support construction of this critical facility. Con Agra has donated pilot-scale equipment for tomato processing research and teaching that will be put to use in the new laboratory. The gifts are a testament to how highly the industry values UC Davis as a source of knowledge, problem solving, and trained employees.

"I want to take this opportunity to say thank you," says RMI executive director Clare Hasler. "This laboratory will be entirely funded through private support. From the initial gift of $5 million from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation to the recent commitments from Morning Star and Heinz, we have been gratified by the generous support of the food and beverage industry. These gifts are truly an investment in the future of food and beverage production."

When complete, the Anheuser-Busch Brewing and Food Science Laboratory at UC Davis will be part of the new complex of facilities dedicated to the study of food and wine science. Already, the academic buildings for the departments of Food Science and Technology and Viticulture and Enology are under construction along with a sensory center and the administrative offices for the RMI. The grand opening will be held during the campus' Centennial Weekend on October 10, 2008. If you are interested in supporting the laboratory project, contact Melissa Haworth at or (530) 754-8562.

International Conference on World Wine Markets a Success

By Leslie Butler, Rachael Goodhue, and Jill McCluskey

Orley Ashenfelter, Keynote Speaker

Could global warming change regional advantages for wine grape production? Does expert opinion really influence consumers' wine purchases? How do Chinese consumers respond to U.S. wine? These questions and more were discussed at the International Conference on World Wine Markets, which was co-sponsored by the Center for Wine Economics and Business (CWEB) of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Food and Wine Science.

"Competitive Forces Affecting the Wine and Winegrape Industries: An International Conference on World Wide Markets" was held August 8-11, 2007, at UC Davis, and focused on the economics of trade and globalization, in addition to marketing issues.

The keynote speaker, Princeton professor Orley Ashenfelter, discussed how global warming might help some regions, such as Germany, produce higher quality wines while hurting other wine producing regions. The conference was attended by economists and industry members from the U.S., Australia, Brazil, China, and Europe.

UC Davis research presented at the conference included experimental work regarding consumer wine preferences, optimal wine aging, and a comparison of wine regulation in the U.S. and E.U. The conference program and presentations are available at

Lain Evans of the University of Cambridge received the CWEB Graduate Researcher Travel Award enabling him to attend the conference and present his work on precision viticulture undertaken in cooperation with Terrence O'Shea of the University of Cambridge, and Agustin Huneeus and Aaron Potts of Quintessa Winery.

CWEB members Leslie Butler and Rachael Goodhue were conference organizers. They played key roles in selecting speakers, reviewing paper submissions, and organizing the sessions. Butler also organized pre-conference and post-conference field study tours to the Napa Valley and Sierra Foothills which allowed conference participants to interact with vintners and learn about their business models, especially their marketing decisions.

Beer vs. Wine: Which is the Real Energy Drink?

(As seen in September 2007 on the UC Davis homepage)

Charlie Bamforth and Andy Waterhouse in the Frontiers Studio with interviewer Paul Pfotenhaeur

In recent years, researchers have learned that there just might be sound science behind what was once thought to be mere folk medicine regarding the health benefits of beer and wine. In a recent Frontier's video, two UC Davis experts in the science of winemaking and brewing debate which of the two beverages is better for you.

They include Charlie Bamforth, the Anheuser-Busch Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences and chair of the UC Davis food science and technology department. He is the author of several books on brewing and malting science, and he has studied the nutritional merits of beer.

Bamforth discusses the health merits of beer and wine with Andy Waterhouse, who holds the John E. Kinsella endowed chair in Food, Nutrition and Health and chairs the viticulture and enology department. Waterhouse's research focuses on the chemicals that affect the taste of wine and those that relate to the health effects of wine for consumers. To view the Frontiers program, visit:

Upcoming Events

Strategic Symposium

Diane Barrett, Director of the RMI Center for Fruit and Vegetable Quality, is hosting the following event:

Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: Is It a Matter of Taste?
Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Walter A. Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center
Alpha Gamma Rho Room
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Speakers include:
Dr. Elizabeth Pivonka, President & CEO,
UC Davis Public Health Sciences

Dr. Nina Veflen Olsen, Research Scientist,
Matforsk Norwegian Food Research Institute

Dr. Diana Cassady, Asst. Adj. Professor,
UC Davis Public Health Sciences

Dr. Elizabeth Baldwin, Research Leader/Location Coordinator,
USDA-ARS, Citrus & Subtropical Products Lab

Register NOW!


Women, Wine & Music

Leading Women Winemakers of California

April 30, 2008, 4-7 p.m.
Mondavi Center Studio Theatre

Panel participants will include Michaela Rodeno, CEO of St. Supery Winery ( and Heidi Barrett, winemaker for some of the leading wineries in Napa Valley (

Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible ( will lead a guided wine tasting followed by an informal tasting of several wines made by women winemakers.

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Contributors to "RMI E-newsletter"

  • Clare M. Hasler, Executive Director, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, (530) 754-6349,
  • Allen Lowry, Sr. Project Manager, Architects & Engineers, (530) 757-3391,
  • Leslie Butler, Marketing Specialist, Agricultural & Resource Economics, (530) 752-3681,
  • Rachael Goodhue, Associate Professor, Agricultural & Resource Economics, (530) 754-7812,
  • Jill McCluskey, Associate Professor of Marketing and Agribusiness in the School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University, (509) 335-6653,
  • Melissa Haworth, Director of Major Gifts, CA&ES Dean's Office, (530) 754-8562,
  • Patricia Glass, Administration/Event Coordinator, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, (530) 754-6349,
  • Ann Filmer, Director of Communications, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, (530) 754-6788,


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