April 22, 2009
UC Davis' new vineyards

My neck is feeling a little sunburnt right now, and that's because I spent some time around noon at UC Davis' new vineyards. By coincidence or not, more than 2,500 rootstocks were planted today (a.k.a. Earth Day). These rootstocks are providing the foundation for a new 12-acre vineyard that's adjacent to the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. These vineyards will be dedicated toward teaching exercises and studies for students in the departments of viticulture and enology. It may be a year until these rootstocks are developed enough for studying, and about two years until they bear fruit. But they will still provide plenty of hands-on training for using various trellis systems and other vineyard work. For more on these new vineyards and what they mean for winemaking at UC Davis, check the "Vintages" page in our Food & Wine section next Wednesday.

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