OWB Funded Research Update
The Oregon Wine Board provides, pursuant to its legislative charter, research grants to institutions for research in viticulture and enology of particular relevance to the Oregon wine industry.
The results of OWB-funded technical research are reported to the industry through seminars, symposia, extension publications, and peer-reviewed journals. Some projects updates were provided at the 2023 Oregon Wine Symposium, for a complete overview of OWB funded research visit the Viticulture & Enology Research section of this website.
Greg Jones is a world-renowned atmospheric scientist and wine climatologist, having held research and teaching positions at the University of Virginia, Southern Oregon University, Linfield University, and as an adjunct professor at the University of Adelaide. For over twenty-five years his research has firmly linked weather and climate with grapevine growth, fruit chemistry, and wine characteristics in regions all around the globe. His work was also one of the first to tie climate change to fundamental biological phenomena in vines and the resulting influences on productivity and quality. Greg also has lifelong ties to the Oregon wine community, most closely with his family winery and vineyards at Abacela where Greg was appointed CEO in 2021. Greg is one of the 9 Oregon Wine Board Directors and the incoming Chair of OWB Research Committee. To find out more about his research and access videos, podcasts, and publications visit this website www.climateofwine.com.
Dr. Skinkis conducts applied research and provides outreach and education programs for the Oregon wine grape industry statewide. Her research program focuses on applied viticulture and whole plant physiology studies designed to understand causes and management of vine vigor/vine balance and impacts on fruit composition and wine quality. Her research also includes work on yield (from bud fruitfulness to crop thinning and vine balance), fine-tuning canopy management methods, sustainable viticulture production, and understanding factors that drive industry production decision-making. As Extension Specialist, Patty develops educational programs and informational publications for the industry in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Her outreach efforts include bringing producers together in technical groups to foster information exchange between industry and academics. She also teaches undergraduate and graduate level viticulture courses at Oregon State University. Her efforts expand beyond Oregon, as she is a member of the National Clean Plant Network – Grapes Advisory Board, is an associated editor for the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, and served as a board member and held leadership positions in the American Society for Enology and Viticulture.
Dr. Achala KC is an assistant professor at the department of botany and plant pathology at Oregon State University. She is a plant pathologist stationed in OSU’s Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center in Central Point. She earned her master’s and Ph.D. degrees in plant pathology from North Dakota State University in Fargo and completed post-doctoral training in tree fruit pathology from the University of Florida in Gainesville. Her research programs at OSU are focused on understanding the epidemiology of tree fruit and wine grape diseases and developing integrated disease management programs. Grapevine red blotch disease and grapevine trunk diseases are her current active research areas under the wine grape disease program.
Alex Wong received his bachelor’s degree in cell developmental molecular biology at the University of Pittsburgh in 2016. From there he earned his master’s degree in plant pathology at Virginia Tech with Dr. Mizuho Nita, where he studied biological control of crown gall disease in grapevines. After graduating, Alex joined Walt Mahaffee’s lab as a Ph.D. student in the Oregon State University botany and plant pathology department in 2018 and currently studies fungicide resistance and integrative management of grape powdery mildew and Botrytis bunch rot.
Dr. Alexander (Alec) Levin is a viticulturist at the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center (SOREC) and assistant professor in the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University. He also is a core faculty member of the Oregon Wine Research Institute (OWRI), and serves as the chair of the Grape Genetics, Physiology and Management working group in the International Society for Horticultural Science. Dr. Levin completed his Ph.D. in horticulture and agronomy at UC Davis investigating physiological differences in drought responses among several red wine grape cultivars. Since 2016, he has been leading the Southern Oregon viticulture research and extension program at SOREC, located in the heart of the Rogue Valley. Dr. Levin conducts applied viticultural research focused in the fields of grapevine water relations and ecophysiology, and vineyard irrigation management. His ultimate research goals are to develop sustainable vineyard management practices tailored to production goals.