- Industry partners
- Get Involved
As UC Davis closes its doors on another academic year, the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science opens the doors of the newest addition to its teaching and research complex: the Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building. This new facility, dedicated on May 29, was made possible by a $3 million gift from the late Jess S. Jackson and his wife Barbara Banke. This building provides research and operational facilities for on-site energy production, rainwater harvesting, water reuse and carbon sequestration systems for the LEED Platinum winery. The winery is self-sustainable in energy and water, and fully solar at peak load with a zero carbon footprint.
The Jackson building will provide many new collaborative research opportunities with industry, including members of our Industry Partnership Program (IPP). And I am very pleased to announce that Pentair, a leading provider of innovative water and fluid processing products, has become the newest member of this program. The Pentair Foundation will support a graduate student fellow for one year. The winner will be announced in the summer issue of the e-news.
Another winner from the Robert Mondavi Institute is our brand new wildflower honey. Released on Picnic Day from our Honey and Pollination Center, this sweet treat from Northern California is flying off the bookstore shelves so place your orders soon. Proceeds from the sale of this product will help support the center's programmatic activities outlined below the executive director Amina Harris.
I hope you take the time to read about the many other exciting outreach, education and research activities associated with the Robert Mondavi Institute detailed in this issue of the e-news.
By Amina Harris
What a Picnic
April 20 had the bees buzzin’ over at the Robert Mondavi Institute. A wonderful array of activities greeted visitors to the Honey and Pollination Center on Picnic Day. It is our inaugural year, and we are off to an auspicious start. People began lining up at 8:30 a.m. for the promised honey tasting — about an hour and a half earlier than we had planned. Caught off guard, members of the RMI team scrambled to get everything together quickly and no one was disappointed.
Honeys from throughout California were featured. Visitors tried yellow star thistle honey from Northern California, rare buckeye from the foothills, wild buckwheat, pomegranate from Southern California, black button sage from the coastal mountains and our new UC Davis Northern California wildflower.
Children (and a few UC Davis students and parents) made honey bee stick puppets, which worked as cooling fans in the heat of the day.
Many people — all ages and all sizes — tried on our assortment of bee costumes, took pictures of themselves, and had a great time flying around the courtyard.
The line threaded all the way to the Good Life Garden with eager tasters and visitors. There was such a throng of interested people we had to add a second tasting station in the middle of the day.
Picnic Day was a day of firsts for the RMI Honey and Pollination Center. We also premiered our wonderful Northern CaliforniaWildflower Honey.Gathered from throughout the northern part of the state, this light and lovely honey is now available in the bookstore outlets and online, and it is selling FAST. The bookstore also has our new pollination note cards. Each features a beautiful photograph of a pollinator at work on lovely flowers or trees. The detailed photographs are by Kathy Keatley Garvey, the communications specialist in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. Cards are sold individually or in packs of eight, with different photos, and make a wonderful gift or a fabulous way to share news with family or friends. Look for them in the campus bookstore and hopefully online soon. Proceeds from both of these items helps the Honey and Pollination Center continue to grow and develop new programs.
Coming Up This Summer:
The center is working with the UC Davis School of Education to put together a special Pollinator Learning Day, July 24, 2013. Summer-school students will tour the Häagen Dazs Honey Bee Haven and visit the Harry B. Laidlaw Bee Biology Facility. They will return to the Sensory Theatre at the Robert Mondavi Institute for a special showing of “Wings of Life” with a question-and-answer period with the filmmaker, Louie Schwartzberg.
Later that evening we will partner with the School of Education to co-host a special evening for the entire community at the UC Davis Conference Center. Starting at 6:30 p.m., there will be honey tasting, music, insects, and fun for the whole family. A showing of the film will take place at 7:30 p.m., followed by a discussion with Louie. Mark your calendar.
Finally, the center has received funding from the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the California Bountiful Foundation to begin developing a honey tasting and aroma wheel. This very exciting project, which will take about a year to complete, will offer a language to help consumers describe the unique flavors of varietal honeys.
Have a sweet summer.
Honey and Pollination Center
By Andrea Thompson
With revenues of approximately $8 billion annually, Pentair (www.pentair.com) employs 30,000 people worldwide, working with clients on seven continents. Pentair is a global water, fluid, thermal management, and equipment protection partner with industry leading products, services, and solutions that fit the changing needs of its customers. Pentair brings to bear its extensive expertise through deep collaborative efforts, looking ahead to ensure the future of the world's most essential resources, equipment and infrastructure.
Established in 1998, the Pentair Foundation funds programs that promote education, sustainability in water and energy, and workforce readiness. Pentair dedicates 2 percent of its annual pre-tax income to charitable efforts. Over the years, the Pentair Foundation has directed more than $40 million to Pentair communities and has received the Jefferson Award for Corporate Giving.
As part of its IPP membership, the Pentair Foundation will name a graduate student fellow at UC Davis who will work with a faculty member at the RMI. The “Pentair Foundation Graduate Fellow” will receive $40,000 for one year to support his or her graduate research studies.
“We are pleased to be joining RMI’s Industry Partnership Program and supporting this important collaboration between the sciences and industry,” said Dr. Phil Rolchigo, Pentair’s vice president of technology. “The goals of the Pentair Foundation are well aligned with the outstanding research being performed at the RMI and UC Davis.”
Industry Partnership Program
RMI Industry Relations Manager
An unprecedented gathering at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at the University of California, Davis, formed a new coalition to combat food and beverage fraud. These illegal activities cheat consumers, hurt honest farmers and suppliers, and threaten public health. The coalition was established during the conference “Fighting Economic Adulteration in the Marketplace” on April 23, 2013, and includes consumer, scientific, media, policy and industry representatives. A more detailed description of the conference is outlined below
It could be honey cut with corn syrup, “pure” pomegranate juice weakened with other juices, or olive oil sold as “extra virgin” but diluted with lower-cost oil: speakers at the conference said each is an example of “economic adulteration” of food products.
Douglas Moyer, an instructor at Michigan State University, defined economic adulteration as “a collective term used to encompass deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients or even food packaging, or the false or misleading statements made about a product for economic gain.”
“The most valuable commodity is the public’s trust. The integrity of our food system is something that we cannot take for granted,” said California Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross, the keynote speaker for the event. “Being able to be part of a system that completely nourishes and maintains public trust is one of the most important things that we can do.”
Emily Kane, counsel and director of government affairs at Roll Law Group, provides legal services to Los Angeles-based Roll Global, which produces and markets products including POM Wonderful pomegranate juice.
“There are folks putting ‘100 percent pure pomegranate juice’ onto the market and selling it for a third, a fourth, a fifth, a sixth of the price that we know it should be sold,” Kane said. “They are doing it because they are cheating.”
While Kane added that the U.S. has laws in place to prevent economic adulteration, or food fraud, such as the Food and Drug Act of 1906 and the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938, “for some reason, that message is falling on deaf ears.
Dana Krueger, president of Krueger Food Laboratories, an independent food-testing laboratory based in Massachusetts, discussed his analyses of fruit juices, including pomegranate juice.
“Most of the adulterated products are fairly minor brands and represent a fairly small portion of the overall market, but nevertheless, still probably about a third or more of all the brand labels out there are not properly labeled,” Krueger said. “(Problems with economic adulteration) are discovered by working scientists just doing analytic work and research in the area of food composition. Economic adulteration is definitely a serious problem, but it is not a new problem.”
In the case of olive oil, Tom Mueller, author of “Extra Virginity,” described fraud as “one of the oldest, most time-honored forms of economic adulteration.”
“It has been around for a long, long time and remains big to this day. It’s in a rapid evolution as fraudsters try to stay two or three steps ahead of the people that are detecting them,” Mueller said.
Dan Flynn, executive director of the UC Davis Olive Center at the RMI, said that standards need to be improved, and he called enforcement weak or nonexistent.
“There are all different kinds of pressures on the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) including low staffing and other priorities, but without enforcement you can’t expect anybody to pay attention to whatever standards happen to be there,” Flynn said.
The FDA is responsible for enforcing laws against economic adulteration, but one report suggests the agency does not have the right skill set for chasing criminals, Moyer said.
“They know all about bad bugs, but they don’t know much about bad people and their motivations,” said Moyer, who added that monitoring of all food products is simply not practical. “It would take the FDA more than 150 years to inspect all of the food production facilities in China, so the focus has to be risk management — thinking about the perpetrators and their opportunities and how to minimize them.”
Speakers at the conference offered a number of potential solutions, including better communication among government agencies; having the FDA make food-fraud prevention and enforcement a priority; including economic adulteration under the Food Safety Modernization Act; ensuring that the industry is self-regulating; integrating food science into policy; and utilizing media to educate people about the issue in order to bring about change.
“If you realize that the FDA has no power, that Customs (and Border Protection) has no ability to stop this, and that federal officials are deluged with an assortment of issues, this becomes something that is a catalyst for change,” Kane said. “I think it’s the right time to get on the train to make sure we are all eating what we think we’re eating.”
One of the action items resulting from the conference was the formation of a Coalition Against Food Fraud (CAFF) releasing the following statement:
(Adapted from AgAlert. Author Christine Souza may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Whole Foods Market pioneer John Mackey attended a private reception in his honor at the Robert Mondavi Institute, hosted by Capital Public Radio, on February 23. The event was attended by agricultural leaders from UC Davis and the Northern California region and included welcome remarks by Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The reception was hosted before his evening lecture in Freeborn Hall on the UC Davis campus as part of the Graduate School of Management Dean’s Distinguished Speaker series. The lecture attracted more than 800 attendees.
Mackey has led Whole Foods, the natural and organic grocer, as it grew from a single store in Austin, Texas, founded in 1978, to an $11 billion Fortune 300 company, and a top U.S. supermarket with more than 340 stores and 70,000 team members worldwide.
For 15 consecutive years, Fortune magazine has included Whole Foods Market on its “100 Best Companies to Work For” list.
Mackey has been the visionary for many successful programs at the core of Whole Foods Market. He founded Whole Planet Foundation to help end poverty in developing nations; he launched the Local Producer Loan Program to help local farmers and food producers expand their businesses; he created the Global Animal Partnership to set standards for humane farm animal treatment; and he laid the foundation for the company’s Health Starts Here initiative, which encourages health and wellness among customers and team members.
Mackey has been recognized for his work over the years by being named Ernst & Young’s “United States Entrepreneur of the Year,” Institutional Investor’s “Best CEO in America,” Barron’s “World’s Best CEO,” MarketWatch’s “CEO of the Year,” Fortune’s “Businessperson of the Year,” and Esquire’s “Most Inspiring CEO.”
(Adapted from UC Davis Website, Graduate School of Management)
David Pearson, CEO of Opus One in Napa Valley, discussed the luxury brand’s new initiatives as well as its objectives to expand international sales volume and increase U.S. pricing to match higher international prices, during a talk on April 30 at the Robert Mondavi Institute (RMI) at UC Davis. Pearson presented his talk, “Lessons Learned in a Life with Opus One,” to an audience of UC Davis students, faculty and industry attendees as part of the Walt Klenz Lectureship Series, an endowed program begun in 2005. It is sponsored by Treasury Wine Estates (formerly Beringer Blass Wine Estates), with lectures by wine business leaders, and named in honor of former Beringer CEO Walt Klenz, who introduced Pearson. The lectures are presented by the RMI and the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology.
Pearson’s talk included a business presentation Opus One has been giving to distributors and negotiants, and he used it as a case study on how a 35-year-old luxury wine brand remains fresh and successful. Pearson reviewed Opus One’s history, which started in 1978 as a joint project between Robert Mondavi and French winery owner Baron Philippe de Rothschild. Their primary goal was to make a single red wine in a French fashion in California, and create the first U.S. and California wine to exhibit the characteristics of a true Grand Cru wine. Many of the original goals continue today: the pursuit of absolute quality, a global market presence and success with top wine buyers, critical recognition from the press and trade, speculation and re-selling of the wine on secondary markets and at auction, and creating demand in excess of supply.
In 2004, Mondavi began selling winery properties, and Constellation Brands became owner of Mondavi’s flagship Oakville winery and a 50-percent owner of Opus One. Under a 2005 ownership accord between Constellation Brands and Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, each company would maintain 50-percent ownership, but Opus One would have operating independence in the areas of vineyard management, domestic and international sales, and administration.
When Pearson became CEO in 2004, the company was selling in 65 countries through exclusive relationships with sales agents. Pearson helped launch a new international-market focus by terminating those arrangements, and Opus One now provides allocations every year to 22 negotiants who specialize in Bordeaux sales, who are free to sell wine where they want. “In the international market, there is no three-tier system, wine can be sold to anyone. Negotiants can create a stock market effect. We found there was latent demand globally for Opus One, and this move has been very successful,” Pearson explained.
He showed a graph of U.S. sales statistics indicating a decline in Opus One’s domestic sales since 2004, but said, “Volume is not the most important factor in the luxury market, it’s pricing. Opus does not ever lower its price and we don’t ever intend to.” In 1997, export sales accounted for 18
percent of Opus sales — a high percentage for California wines at the time — but today, exports are 50 percent of sales.
In 2011, Opus opened an international sales and marketing office in Japan that also oversees Hong Kong and the growing Asian market. Japan currently accounts for almost 50 percent of Opus One’s export market, but Pearson expects export sales to become more globally diversified in the future. As an indication of demand and brand strength, Pearson cited the “Top 100 Most Searched for Wines” list from WineSearcher.com. Based on the number of Internet searches during a recent evaluation period, Opus One had reached No. 7 on the list, and was the first U.S. wine and first non-French wine on the list.
New production initiatives include an optical sorting machine to sort destemmed grape berries to enhance quality, and a yeast isolation project evaluating 10 different yeast strains from the vineyards for special characteristics. Opus One is gradually replanting its 169 acres of Napa Valley vineyards, planted with five red Bordeaux varieties in four parcels, with the goal of having vines that produce for 30 to 40 years.
New packaging includes a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip in the back label that serves to prevent counterfeiting, can be scanned with a smart phone to provide a consumer with wine information, and enables tracking of the bottle anywhere in the world. As a measure to prevent counterfeiting by refilling the bottle, a unique patented ink is now used on the capsule that will indicate whether the capsule has been replaced.
Pearson said social media and direct marketing have changed how business operates, and Opus One has adapted how it interacts with customers. He noted that “word of mouth” is always important and is a positive aspect of social media that helps the brand. With new media, he said, “We may no longer control our brand, but we can participate in the conversation.” Recent annual statistics show the Opus One website had 173,000 visitors, and social media logged 40,000 mobile visitors. After receiving 90,000 actual visitors to the winery in Oakville in 2007, Opus One decided this was too many and placed an annual limit of 60,000 visitors, all by appointment only.
Pearson's Insightful Tidbits
(Adapted from an article in Wine Business.com by Roger Lansing)
Actress and writer Carol Drinkwater captivated the audience at the University of California, Davis, with stories about discovering ancient olive trees on her land and tracing the history of olive trees throughout the Mediterranean. The event was hosted on April 11, by the UC Davis Olive Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.
Center director Dan Flynn introduced Drinkwater as “one gutsy person,” for her solo journey through war zones and other dangerous places to uncover the route of olive history and culture.
As an actress, Drinkwater is best known for her role as Helen Herriot in the TV series “All Creatures Great and Small.” Her interest in olive trees started when she and her film-director fiancé bought an overgrown plot of land in France. After cutting back a jungle of vegetation, they discovered 68 gnarled olive trees estimated to be 4000 years old. They began learning about olive farming and at the end of the first season, brought their harvested olives to a miller who proclaimed the oil exceptional, said Drinkwater.
Drinkwater became inspired to learn more about the history of olives. When a fan sent her a photo of an ancient tree in Lebanon, she started on a journey that took her to Syria, Algeria, Lebanon, Turkey, Malta, Greece and other Mediterranean countries. Drinkwater said that she was held at gunpoint, stuck in Damascus during the September 11 terrorist attacks, and had to be “parceled” through Algeria in the company of beekeepers. She found a stand of six thriving olive trees in Lebanon that were planted around 4,000 B.C.
Her journey is chronicled in her book, The Olive Route. In total, she has written six books about her olive adventures with more than one million copies sold worldwide, said Flynn. Drinkwater’s latest work is a series of documentaries inspired by her journey.
Following the lecture, a reception was hosted at the Robert Mondavi Institute where Carol Drinkwater signed copies of her book for avid followers of her work.
(Adapted from The Olive Oil Times)
By Tracy Diesslin
On February 22, the Robert Mondavi Institute introduced a three-part wine tasting and travelogue series, “Taste the World,” hosted in the Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theater at the institute. The goal of the series is to raise funds for Broadening Horizons, an initiative to support historically underserved students within the departments of Viticulture and Enology, and Food Science and Technology.
During each tasting, guests sipped eight hidden gems from three continents, while learning about the distinct local varieties, interesting historical facts about the regions, and the terroir of the wines. On February 22, David Block, the Ernest Gallo Endowed Chair in Viticulture and Enology, who spent a seven-month sabbatical in the region, led guests through a tasting of Australian wines. On March 22, Dr. Andrew Waterhouse, who recently spent a sabbatical in Italy, introduced guests to local varieties of Italy, and South African native Dr. Anita Oberholster finished the series on April 26 with a wine tasting and travelogue of South African wines.
Next year the series will feature food pairings, beer, and additional wine tastings from around the globe. The event supports the mission of the institute to provide top quality outreach programs that support the RMI vision, “Enhancing our quality of life through wine, brewing and food sciences.”
Visit www.rmi.ucdavis/events to learn about upcoming events within this series.
The 2013–14 Uncorked season continued with great shows. From violinist Sarah Chang, whose performances have been hailed worldwide by critics and audiences alike, to Arlo Guthrie, whose storytelling was every bit as captivating as his music, it was show-after-show of world-class performances. Ten-time Grammy Award winner Bobby McFerrin, and Jazz at the Lincoln Center with celebrated musical director Wynton Marsalis, whose many performances at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts have repeatedly delighted audiences, were also highpoints.
The 2014–15 Uncorked season will include such highlights as the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell, on March 22, 2014, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, on January 25, 2014.
By Elizabeth Chin
On April 12, 2013, I had the opportunity to visit Roll Global, the RMI Industry Partner who is sponsoring my Ph.D. research over the next year through the Graduate Fellowship Program My research advisor, Dr. Carolyn Slupsky, accompanied me.
The Roll Global headquarters in Los Angeles was the first stop of the day where we met with Ari Mackler, the vice president of clinical development for Pom Wonderful. Slupsky and I were captivated by a beautiful display of original artwork throughout the building. It was unlike any food company I had been in, and clearly created an inspiring workplace for everyone. What a wonderful way to start off the day.
Mackler, Slupsky, and I then took a plane to Delano to tour the processing facility for Cuties (the company’s sweet, seedless California clementines), tour the orchard, and provide an update on my research. The facility was impressive, to say the least. Measuring three football fields in length, the facility processes up to six million Cuties per day during peak season, and has room to grow.
Slupsky and I were there as the season was dwindling, so only two packaging lines were open, but even that was amazing. After touring the facility, both Slupsky and I have a new perspective on the industry. An immense amount of work goes into the quality and safety control of each individual Cutie. From storing the young clementines to stacking the boxes of product, each step is tightly controlled and well thought out. The equipment is well designed to meet these needs, and cleverly placed in the facility to make the workspace safer and more open for communication.
After the tour, we met with Etienne Rabe, Doug Carman, and Kevin Olsen, leaders within Paramount Citrus, for an update of my research. Paramount Citrus, which is part of Roll Global, is the largest grower and shipper of fresh citrus fruit in the U.S. It supplies the clementines for Cuties.
My research is on citrus greening disease (CGD), which is considered the most severe citrus disease worldwide. Though it is not harmful to humans, it causes bad-tasting fruit and early death of the citrus tree. I am examining how the insect that transfers the bacterium that causes CGD affects the plant, and how the plant itself changes over the course of infection. Rabe, Carman, and Olsen were all knowledgeable and provided helpful comments and suggestions about my projects. It was rewarding to communicate my work directly with members of the citrus industry.
Lastly, Rabe took Slupsky, Mackler and me into the citrus orchards, which were awash with the intoxicating aroma of orange blossoms. The persistent hum of the bees, the smell of the orchard, and tasting and seeing the sweet oranges was a very special experience.
In one day, I saw the many components of the citrus industry from almost start to finish. This has given me new insights into the implications of my research, and a greater appreciation for the industry as a whole.
By Clare Hasler-Lewis
We bid farewell to Jack Jordan, who recently announced he was stepping down from the board of executives due to increasing constraints on his time in his new position as vice president of business development of STATCO Engineering. Jordan joined the board in early 2012 when he was president of Pentair Südmo North America, a supplier of process and filtration equipment and systems to the brewing, beverage, food, and related industries. In his role at Pentair Südmo, Jordan led the team that provided automated solutions and filtration technologies for wine, beer, dairy and liquid food, as well as advanced filtration for water and water reuse. Jordan has been involved in the automation of process plants for more than 30 years with particular emphasis on process and clean-in-place integration. More recently, he became involved with technologies that recover water from wastewater. Prior to Pentair Südmo, Jordan held senior management positions in two multinational companies supplying turnkey solutions to the brewing and beverage industries. A native of Ireland, he has lived in the U.S. since 1990, and is a dual citizen of these countries.
Jack Jordan was instrumental in securing Pentair as the newest member of the Industry Partnership Program. We will miss his leadership and wish him well in his new position.
– Director’s Circle Level ($1,000) –
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Olive Center Panel Leader Featured in Best-Selling Book
Mary Roach's new best-seller, Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal starts off with the author's encounters with our very own panel leader Sue Langstaff, as well as Roach's experience at our panel's apprentice-screening last year. Roach was interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air. A day after its release the book was ranked No. 6 by Amazon.
Good job Sue, Abigail and Stephen!
For more information on this and other issues of RMI wine and food bytes at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science please contact:
(530) 752-5171 (office)
© 2012 Robert Mondavi Institute
Robert Mondavi Institute
University of California, Davis
392 Old Davis Rd.
Davis, CA 95615-21234