Grace and Ken Evenstad, founding owners of Domaine Serene Winery in the Dundee Hills, have pledged up to $500,000 for a critical new research project specific to Oregon and designed by OSU and USDA research scientists. The initiative focuses on eradicating the ever-increasing threat of grapevine red blotch virus and will bring together a new multi-disciplinary study team to better understand the genetic characteristics of the virus, its possible transmission dynamics and the range of effects on Pinot noir grapes and wines.

Since this virus presents such a clear and significant threat to wine growing in Oregon, the Evenstads are inviting industry members to contribute toward matching the first $500,000 in hopes to raise $1,000,000 in total.  This funding will allow the newly-formed research team the ability to create a multi-year plan to fully understand the virus while working toward a cure.

The first $300,000 has enabled a partnership with top research scientists in various fields from Oregon State University and the USDA to fund the Red Blotch Study Team (RBST) comprised of many of the foremost researchers and scientists on the subject.  By leading the charge on this very important issue, this new multi-disciplinary study team is determined to better understand the characteristics of the virus, its possible transmission dynamics and the range of effects on vineyard health and their resulting wines.  This is a complex issue, so additional funding is crucial to fully understand the intricacies of the virology, vectors, transmission and their complex relationships, and effects on vine physiology, grape and wine quality.

For questions regarding access to the full research proposal, to pledge funds, or to help spread the word on this very important initiative, please contact Todd Bastian at Oregon State University by email.