September 2022: Letter from the Director

The UC Davis campus is buzzing with energy with the return of students and the start of the fall quarter. We saw unprecedented rainfall this week, which brought a feeling of a fresh new beginning and a change of season.

Fall also ushers in a busy season of educational and entertaining events with more in-person opportunities to attend. We will also have live broadcast virtual options for most experiences if you join from out of the area.

August 2022: Letter from the Director

Even with the high temperatures this week, you can feel fall approaching. The grape harvest has started in the teaching vineyard at the Robert Mondavi Institute, and the campus is gearing up for the return of students next month.

Agave: The New Drought-Tolerant California Crop?

From UC Davis News and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Agriculture in California faces an uncertain future as drought, wildfires and other climate extremes become more commonplace in the West. But a fledgling industry focused on growing and distilling agave plants, which are used to produce tequila and mezcal in Mexico, could be California’s answer to fallowed fields and a lack of water.

Shop Small Farms

Shopping at the Davis Farmers Market is a classic Saturday morning activity for Davis locals and visitors alike. Showcasing freshly picked, vibrant fruits and vegetables, local farmers line up stalls to market their produce to the community and connect with consumers. These farmers come from small farms, the topic of the recent Savor lecture, hosted by the Robert Mondavi Institute for Food and Wine, titled “Sustaining Small Farms.”

June 2022: Letter from the Director

You may have heard via the Viticulture and Enology newsletter that I will retire as a professor at the end of this month. Attending the commencement ceremonies was especially poignant as I walked across the stage with my last Ph.D. student and Master’s student. I enjoyed working with enology students the most, helping them find their way, and making contacts for internships and full-time positions that helped advance their career and personal goals. 

May 2022: Letter from the Director

It feels like we just returned to campus in the fall, but we are fast approaching the end of the academic year with commencements in early June. It has been wonderful to see the Robert Mondavi Institute alive with in-person celebrations.

April 2022: Letter from the Director

Spring has sprung, and it's hard to believe we are almost to May. But I'd like to take a moment to reflect on 2021 and share our Year in Review publication that highlights our achievements. I am proud of the outreach events my staff, collaborators, and I have offered on various topics.

March 2022: Letter from the Director

Next week, the Spring semester starts, and for the first time since March 2020, students and staff are on campus and can forgo face coverings. The mask requirement change is a significant milestone for the college and our community, taking small steps back to normal. However, we are still committed to supporting one’s personal choice to wear a mask and will remain flexible in light of COVID developments.

I Can't Believe It's Not Meat

The recent increase in research on the benefits of eating plant-based meals for environmental reasons and personal health and wellness has led to a rise in vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian diets, prompting consumers to reach for plant-based meat alternatives instead of conventional meats. These plant-based meat alternatives were explored in the Robert Mondavi Institute’s recent forum “Diners, Drivers, and the Design of Meat Alternatives,” featuring Dr.

Exploring the Terroir of Beer

Being a wine enthusiast, I eagerly research the terroir, or sense of place, of each wine I drink. Whenever I open a bottle, I want to dig deeper than general facts about the region where the wine came from. I enjoy reading any information I can find about the vineyard’s soil, climate, or terrain, in addition to the specific practices, the winemaker implemented when crafting the wine. I’m a sucker for the wineries that list all sorts of details on the label or the website; I feel so much more connected to these wines. When I drink them, I can appreciate what made them this way.