World-renowned UC Davis researchers have made significant contributions to the fields of viticulture, enology and the food sciences over the past 100 years. Robert Mondavi’s vision was to provide UC Davis a prestigious forum for collaboration between the departments of Viticulture and Enology and Food Science and Technology. In 2001, a $25 million gift from Mr. Mondavi made this vision a reality. In 2008, a 129,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art academic complex was completed that enabled these two renowned departments to relocate under one roof for the first time.
In December 2010, the Robert Mondavi Institute opened the world’s first and only winery, brewery and food and dairy processing facility certified as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum by the US Green Building Council. It is the highest scoring LEED Platinum Building at any university in the world and exceeded LEED point scores in water, energy and carbon dioxide capture. The facility is completely privately funded.
In May 2013, the Jess Jackson Sustainable Winery Building became the newest addition to the Robert Mondavi Institute, making the teaching and research winery the first zero-carbon emission winery, the most water-efficient winery ever built, the most chemistry-efficient winery ever built, the first winery to be fully solar at peak load and the first self-sustainable winery from on-site capture of all water and energy.
Credited with “re-starting” the California wine industry after prohibition, the Department of Viticulture and Enology has been advancing the wine industry for over 130 years. The UC Davis program is unique in combining the sciences of viticulture (the cultivation or culture of grapes) and enology (a science that deals with wine and winemaking) in a single research and teaching unit. Current areas of research for the 15 faculty members include: viticulture, microbiology, chemistry, sensory and enology. The department currently has 118 undergraduates and 44 graduate students working towards degrees in Viticultre and Enology.
Food Science is the study of foods and food components and their utilization. The Department of Food Science and Technology is one of the premier food science programs nationally. It is the only department in California which offers a Ph.D. in food science; the department also offers the only accredited four-year program in brewing science at a public university. UC Davis faculty have contributed more than 3800 citations to academic food science journals over the past 35 years, making the university the most highly cited university for food science. Currently about 275 undergraduates and 67 graduate students are pursuing degrees in food science and technology making UC Davis one of the largest food science programs in the nation.