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Experimental station aims to improve certain wine grape varieties

 

Narrator:            This is Science Today. The majority of California's wine grapes are grown in the San Joaquin Valley, which is part of the state's vast Central Valley region. Matthew Fidelibus, an extension specialist in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis, studies which traditional wine grape varieties are best suited for the climate in this area.

Fidelibus:            Most of the wine grapes that we grow in the region are classic wine grapes that people are accustomed to drinking wines from. For instance, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot ... and so what we're trying to do is we're looking at actual selections of those varieties.

Narrator:            Fidelibus and his colleagues have experimental wine lots in the area at the Kearney Agricultural Center and local growers look to them for information about which varieties to plant.

Fidelibus:            The research that we do in the Valley, it affects growers not only in the state, but it affects people throughout the country and internationally. I mean, the San Joaquin Valley wine grape industry historically has produced up to half of the fruit for wine in the country. So, the effect that we're having on growers here has repercussions for the whole country.

Narrator:            For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.