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Kearney trial could reveal the next great white wine

Jim Wolpert discusses the wine trial during Kearney Grape Day in August.
San Francisco Chronicle wine columnist Jon Bonné wrote about the prospects for another variety of white wine to rise in popularity, perhaps to the level of such well known wines as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Reisling. In the article, Bonné referenced a new trial at UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, where 55 varieties are under study, from Trebbiano to Petit Manseng. The study was designed to determine what might best match the San Joaquin Valley's hot climes. Project leader UC Cooperative Extension viticulture specialist Jim Wolpert was intrigued by grapes from warm spots like Sicily, where Grillo and Carricante thrived in the heat. At the same time, he saw a flood of new varieties being made available by Davis' Foundation Plant Services, yet little interest from nurseries. An experiment was born. "I think there's a treasure trove of varieties there," Wolpert said. "All we need to find is a couple."

Proposed Green Tech High School Academy draws critics
Jennifer Bonnett, Lodi News Sentinel

Lodi Unified School District has proposed developing a Green Tech High School Academy, the first of its kind in California. The district has already spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars laying the groundwork for a new school that some trustees say they can’t support. Parent Paul Verdegaal called it the wrong idea at the wrong time. “It appears that LUSD is once again chasing pipe dreams at great cost in money and opportunities for students to actually learn, especially with reduced budgets," he said. The article noted that Verdegaal is a farm adviser for the University of California Cooperative Extension in San Joaquin County. Verdegaal said he sees students who don’t understand science or math, key subjects in creating sustainable practices.

This year's olive harvest is the pits
Martin Espinoza, The Press Democrat

Sonoma County olive growers are bracing for a disastrous harvest, one that could wipe out the supply of fresh local olive oil. Paul Vossen, a farm advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension, said that in an average low-yield year olive orchards produce 50 to 60 percent less. “We have some places where they have almost nothing,” he said.

Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 8:09 AM

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