OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Corvallis Science Pub to focus on grapes and wine

11/09/2011

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The November Corvallis Science Pub will feature a discussion about growing grapes and turning them into high-quality wines.

Patty Skinkis and James Osborne, Oregon State University scientists affiliated with the Oregon Wine Research Institute and the Extension Service, will share their knowledge of what it takes to grow grapes in Oregon and what winemakers, both professionals and home hobbyists, must keep in mind.

The program begins at 6 p.m. on Nov. 14 at the Old World Deli, 341 Second St. in Corvallis. It is free and open to the public.

It’s been a challenging year of cool, wet weather for the state’s vineyards, but industry officials are predicting a record harvest. Oregon has more than 300 wineries and 20,500 acres of grapes planted.

Skinkis (Department of Horticulture) studies viticulture, the science of grape vine management, and advises grape growers statewide on fertilization, vineyard canopies (leaf cover), soils and other topics. She teaches her viticulture course on campus to students and to vineyard managers online and has produced numerous YouTube videos on topics such as pruning techniques and rust mite monitoring.

Osborne (Department of Food Science and Technology) studies wine microbiology and teaches classes on wine production and analysis. His research focuses on the interactions between microbes, their role in desirable and undesirable processes and problems that can arise during fermentation. To demonstrate, he will offer the audience examples of some of the off-odors that can be caused by microbes during winemaking. A native of New Zealand, Osborne shares his expertise with winemakers around the state.

Sponsors of Science Pub include Terra magazine at OSU, the Downtown Corvallis Association and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.