Nevada Wine

Friday, June 4, 2010

Nevada Wine Tasters, thank you for coming to the wine tasting yesterday. This weeks wine tasting was different than the usual set up. Dr. Cramer's graduate students, Ryan Ghan and Danny Hopper, taught a class on rapid propagation techniques. Greenwood propagation, for those who don't know it, is the process of asexually cloning a given plant. This propagation technique is a fast and easy way to produce plant material.

The class focused on taking cuttings from a ‘mother vine.’ Here, cuttings were taken 3-5 nodes beneath the growing end or shoot tip. The wounding of the cutting eventually leads to the formation of a callus and then to adventitious root formation. Ghan and Hopper emphasized two importance propagation aids: cuttings require warmth, in the form of bottom heat, and high humidity to quickly root. A rooting mixture of 1:1 perlite and vermiculite has been successfully employed, as per the advice of their colleagues at UC Davis. Plant propagation has been successful with UNR's Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay grapes, the rootstocks Ramsey and Riparia Glorie, and the CBF4 overexpressing vines.

Bob Dickerson specifically came to yesterday's wine tasting to learn the proper way to propagate. He has been growing his own vineyard for the last two years in the sierra foothills. He wants to create more vines through propagation.

"This has been the second time that I have come to these wine tastings," Dickerson said. "I heard about it last week and I said I would definitely come."

Eric Swanson and Kim Roberts have been propagating plants in their own home. They have had a lot of success with their propagation.

"They have been rooting out very nicely," Roberts said.

They came to this culture class to learn more techniques for their grape plants because propagation worked with their other fruit plants.

"We are not sure about the success with our grapes yet," Roberts said.

Bob Wildman came to the wine tasting this week for the first time after meeting Hopper at another wine tasting. Wildman is a clinical psychologist who is intrigued by the idea of using wine tastings for research purposes. He would like to do research on wine someday and hopes that collaboration with UNR could be available.

"I want to let other people know about this work," Wildman said. "It's fascinating."

For the last half of the wine tasting, tasters tried their favorite white wines. The wines were wrapped in tin foil and they had to guess what each wine was. This was considered the fun part of the night.

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