The Robert Mondavi Institute has helped establish three Centers of Excellence: the UC Davis Olive Center, the Honey and Pollination Center, and the Center for Wine Economics. Each center is dedicated to the research of specific foods or beverages, and implements cross-disciplinary efforts to address significant issues related to these products.
Originally created to address the on-campus hazard of olive trees dropping fruit on bikeways, the center has since moved to the forefront of research, teaching, and education relating to olives and olive oil. With a sensory lab, introductory-to-professional-level short courses, and numerous academic publications, the center is “doing for olives what UC Davis did for wine.”
Founded in 2012 with support from Whole Foods Market and the University of California, Davis, the center has become a leading authority on pollinator health, honey quality, and the science of mead, a fermented alcoholic beverage made with honey. With short courses, educational events, and pioneering research into quality standards for honey, the center is “making UC Davis the world's leading authority on honey bee health, pollination, and honey.”
With an emphasis on applied research, the center is also engaged in teaching and outreach activities related to wine economics. The center undertakes and facilitates research and education about the economics of the production and consumption of wine grapes and wine in California and around the world.