American Vineyard Foundation Announces 2014 Scholarship Awards

Napa, CA – The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is awarding five grants to graduate students conducting viticulture and enology research at University of California Davis and Fresno State University. Funds for these grants are provided by the André Tchelistcheff and Dr. Richard Peterson Scholarship Programs, managed by the AVF since 2007.

Scholarship committee members Dorothy Tchelistcheff, Dick Peterson and Bob Steinhauer weighed factors including: research value to the industry, diversity of fields of study and diversity of research institutions and labs when selecting award recipients.

“We continue to see an impressive applicant response and are pleased with how well the research aligns with the current needs of the industry.  There is an eagerness to address the impact of water shortages and increase water efficiency in the vineyards,” said Tony Stephen, the AVF’s Board Chairman.

UC Davis graduate student recipients Alexander Levin and Jenna Gargrave will focus on viticulture-related research. Alexander researches water efficiency measures in vineyard practices.  He studies regulated deficit irrigation to maintain grape yields while drastically lowering the vine’s water footprint.  Joaquin Fraga is researching breeding practices for drought tolerant rootstocks and Cassandra Bullock is working with salt tolerant rootstocks at Dr. Andrew Walker’s lab. Fresno State University student Clinton Nelson is developing guidelines for commercial growers to improve grape quality and growing efficiency while maintaining or improving yield.

About the American Vineyard Foundation

The American Vineyard Foundation (AVF) is a non-profit organization that enjoys generous voluntary industry support for research in viticulture and enology. The AVF provides a unique opportunity to unify the industry through efficient funding of basic and applied research contributing to the American grape and wine industry’s position as the world’s leader.