The Crush July - 1

Volume 49 | Issue 7 | July 2023
Winegrape Smoke Exposure
Article by Ted Rieger
Two June meetings provided updates on research,
program funding, and progress to address impacts on
grapes and wines caused by exposure to wildfire smoke.
The West Coast Smoke Exposure Task Force's (WCSETF)
Third Annual Virtual Smoke Summit was held June 7th,
and the American Society for Enology and Viticulture
(ASEV) National Conference held in Napa on June 2829
featured oral presentations and research posters on
smoke taint management.
At the Smoke Summit, the US Department of Agriculture
(USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) National
Program Leader for Specialty Crops, Tim Rinehart gave
an overview of ARS funding and research. As part of
Congressional allocations to ARS over the past four
fiscal years, $5 million per year has been allocated for
winegrape smoke exposure research, and this annual
allocation is expected to continue. In addition, multi-year
grant funding from the USDA Specialty Crop Research
Initiative (SCRI) is funding projects led by researchers at
three West Coast universities: University of California,
Davis (UCD) Cooperative Extension Enology Specialist
Dr. Anita Oberholster; Oregon State University Enology
Professor Dr. Elizabeth Tomasino; and Washington State
University Professor Dr. Tom Collins.
Rinehart said, " The top priority of our research is
understanding the basic foundational chemistry of
smoke exposure risk assessment compounds and their
thresholds for the industry to use for making decisions
in the field and during winemaking. " He said the
second priority is developing mitigation practices and
technologies, which includes looking at current
directions and developing new technologies to be
applied to smoke-impacted grapes and wines. He
summarized, " We are definitely in
this for the long haul, and we expect
the research program to grow and
develop over time. "
USDA-ARS Research Underway
At the USDA-ARS office at UCD, smoke exposure
researchers include Dr. Dan Kluepfel, Dr. Kendra
Baumgartner, and the newest staff addition, Dr. Arran
Rumbaugh, Research Chemist for Crops Pathology
and Genetics. Rumbaugh, who previously worked
in Oberholster's Lab at UCD, presented priorities,
projects, and objectives within her five-year research
plan to Smoke Summit attendees. One project is to
develop a quick, simple, inexpensive, and portable
sensor tool to measure the concentration of volatile
phenols (VPs) in grapes. The sensor under development
uses VP oxidation with nanoparticles of CeO2 (cerium
oxide) for real-time quantification of five VPs--guaiacol,
4-methylguaiacol, syringol, eugenol, and cresol. To
evaluate its efficacy and reliability, measurements
will be compared with standard lab methods using
chromatographic-mass spectrometer analysis. There
are plans to create a phone app or website to gather
information for a database for sensor users.
Another Rumbaugh project focuses on understanding
the mechanism of absorption of volatile organic
compounds in grape cell walls. This includes determining
the components of the grape cell wall that play a

The Crush July

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Crush July

The Crush July - 1
The Crush July - 2
The Crush July - 3
The Crush July - 4
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The Crush July - 7
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