ASEV Selects Best Enology and Viticulture Papers for 2009

A team of researchers examining the alteration of anthocyanin in Merlot grapes and authors of a paper on transporter genes in yeast wine strains were designated by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) to receive the best paper awards for viticulture and enology, respectively. The two most outstanding papers published in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture (AJEV) in 2008 were chosen by the ASEV best paper committee for their content and contribution to the field.

The top viticulture paper, “Berry Temperature and Solar Radiation Alter Acylation, Proportion and Concentration of Anthocyanin in Merlot Grapes,” was authored by Julie Tarara of the USDA-ARS at Washington State University, Prosser, Washington; Jungmin Lee of the USDA-ARS at the University of Idaho; Sara Spayd of North Carolina State University (previously of WA State University), and Carolyn Scagel of the USDA-ARS at Oregon State University. They tested the effects of sun exposure on anthocyanin composition in Merlot and separated out the effects from increased berry temperature and solar radiation.

“Growers and researchers have long speculated about this relationship, but the authors of this paper were the first to conduct research to specifically address this issue,” explained best paper committee member Connie Fisk. “Knowledge gained from this work is immediately applicable to the industry, as management of vineyard canopy and microclimate play a significant role in the high-quality production of grapes and wine.”

The award for best enology paper was given to Jonathan Karpel, Warren Place and Linda Bisson, all of the University of California, Davis, for “Analysis of the Major Hexose Transporter Genes in Wine Strains Saccharomyces cerevisiae.” The committee noted that the UC Davis team’s enology paper also holds great potential for immediate industry application. The authors concluded that a specific gene mutation affecting ethanol tolerance may exist in vineyard or winery strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

“This information has the potential to be turned into a diagnostic tool for such important problems as stuck and sluggish fermentations at wineries,” noted committee member Torey Arvik.

Each year, the ASEV best paper committee evaluates all the research articles published in the AJEV for the prior year and selects one paper in viticulture and one in enology that reflect outstanding research and a substantial contribution to its field. The 2008-09 committee members include Patty Saldivar (chair), Viticultural Consultant; Paul Anamosa, Vineyard Soil Technologies; Torey Arvik, Jackson Family Enterprises; Chris Cooney, Provenance Vineyards; Connie Fisk, North Carolina State University; Mark Greenspan, Advanced Viticulture; David Stevens, Davon International; and Steve Vasquez, University of California Cooperative Extension. The authors will be presented with a plaque and monetary award at the June 2009 ASEV Annual Meeting in Napa, California.

Both best papers are currently highlighted at and are available free of charge.