Prepared by:
Brad Estergaard

Attached is the August 2019 GDD Update for Summerland and Osoyoos.

Conference Speakers

Here is a list of speakers for the THE 19th ENOLOGY & VITICULTURE CONFERENCE & TRADESHOW.

Dr. Greg Jones

Gregory V. Jones is the Director of the Evenstad Center for Wine Education, holds the Evenstad Chair in Wine Studies, and is a professor and research climatologist in the Department of Environmental Studies at Linfield College. He specializes in the study of climate structure and suitability for viticulture, and how climate variability and change influence grapevine growth, wine production and quality. He conducts applied research for the grape and wine industry in Oregon and many regions worldwide, has given hundreds of international, national, and regional presentations and published extensively on climate and wine-related research.

Dr. Kerry Wilkinson

Kerry Wilkinson is a Professor of Oenology at the University of Adelaide in South Australia. She teaches core courses in the University’s Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology and Masters of Wine Business programs, and she leads a productive wine science research group. Her primary research interests concern the flavour chemistry of grapes and wine: from the viticultural management of green characters to the improved utility of oak for wine maturation, and from consumer preferences for different styles of sparkling wine to applications of technology that enhance wine production. However, her most significant contribution to wine science is her research into the impact of vineyard exposure to bushfire smoke, which aims to enable industry to address an issue that remains an ongoing challenge to grape and wine producers around the world.

Dr. Mike Veseth

Mike Veseth (pronounced VEE-seth) is editor of The Wine Economist blog and author of more than a dozen books including Wine Wars (2011), Extreme Wine (2013), Money, Taste & Wine: It’s Complicated! (2015), and Around the World in Eighty Wines (2018). He is a sought-after speaker at wine industry meetings both in the United States and round the world.

Veseth’s writings on wine and globalization have been widely praised. Globaloney was selected as a Best Business Book of 2005. Wine Wars was named a Best Wine Book of 2011. The Wine Economist was named “Best in the World” Wine Blog by Gourmand International in 2015. Money, Taste, and Wine: It’s Complicated received the 2016 Gourmand International award for “Best in the World” Wine Writing.

A noted educator, Veseth is professor emeritus of International Political Economy at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.  In 2010 he was named Washington Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

Veseth received the Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Puget Sound and the Master’s and Ph.D degrees in Economics from Purdue University.

Dr. Walter (Walt) Mahaffee

Walter (Walt) Mahaffee is a research plant pathologist with USDA-Agriculture Research Service and a Courtesy Faculty with the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Oregon State University.  He obtained his B.S. in clinical Microbiology, and M.S. and Ph.D. in plant pathology at Auburn University. His team’s research spans numerous disciplines to develop sustainable methods for managing diseases of horticulture crops and has resulted in the commercial implementation of several biological control agents, disease forecasting models, and cultural practices for disease management in horticulture crops.  Current projects include inoculum detection and quantification, fungicide resistance, disease forecasting and epidemiology, turbulent airflow modeling and pathogen dispersion, and pathogen ecology.

Florence Gras

Florence is a trained winemaker with an Enology diploma from the Dijon University in Burgundy and she also has an Agri Food engineering diploma from the ENSBANA school in Dijon. After making world class wines at Domaine Laroche in Burgundy she joined the Institut Cooperatif du Vin (ICV) in Montpellier. She started as a consultant winemaker and quickly became an expert in quality control management. She also furthered her career in the management of the training department and has been focusing her energy and knowledge towards sustainable development for the last 15 years. 

The ICV group sustainable development-quality department has been a world leader for the past 15 years on an original and unique approach in sustainability: they help and support wineries to embrace and adopt a social responsibility guideline. This approach is now called VDD: Wine Growers in Sustainable Development.

Dr. Lucas Patzek

Lucas Patzek is the Executive Director of the Napa County Resource Conservation District. He believes deeply in the District’s collaborative and non-regulatory approach to inspiring better land management, and has worked with similar Districts across California and Washington States. For the past 12 years he has worked with diverse stakeholders to improve agricultural and natural resource systems by finding common ground and working together on long-term solutions. His experience includes serving as a County Director and Agriculture & Natural Resource Faculty with the Cooperative Extension Service in Washington, and as the Associate Executive Director of the non-profit Ag Innovations. He earned a Ph.D. in Crop Science from Washington State University, and a B.S. in Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz.

Dr. Jamie Goode

Jamie Goode did a PhD in plant biology and worked for 15 years as a science editor, before switching to wine. Since 2005 he has been wine columnist for UK national newspaper The Sunday Express. He published the award-winning Wine Science in 2004, and then followed this up with Authentic Wine (in conjunction with Sam Harrop) in 2011, and a revised version of Wine Science in 2014. In 2017 he published I Taste Red which won the Roederer prize for wine book of the year, and this was followed up with Flawless the following year, a book exploring wine faults. Jamie is one of the most widely travelled wine journalists, and is in demand as a speaker and wine judge. He is one of the co-chairs of the International Wine Challenge, where he also heads up the faults clinic. Jamie writes regularly for a number of publications in the UK and the USA, and his website,, has been online since 1999, and he is very active on social media (Twitter @jamiegoode, Instagram @drjamiegoode).

Dr. Belinda Kemp

Belinda Kemp studied for her PhD at Lincoln University, New Zealand then taught at Plumpton College, UK for 3 years but is now senior staff scientist in oenology at the Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), at Brock University. As well as a scientist, Kemp gained previous practical still and sparkling winemaking experience in commercial winemaking in New Zealand and the UK.  Her main wine research topics are quality aspects of flavour and aroma. Her research since joining CCOVI has included a wine-based dosage solutions on Niagara sparkling wine, aging flavours in sparkling wines, press fractioning for sparkling wine, honey flavours in sparkling wines and red winemaking techniques.  She currently organises FIZZ Club for Canadian sparkling winemakers and serves on the VQA-O Standards Development Committee and the VQA-O sparkling wine rules committee.  

Thomas Divney

Tom is a US expatriate that has lived and worked in Costa Rica for more than 30 years, and has professional experience in 18 countries. Tom works with the Sustainable Agriculture Network and leads the Technical Unit in the conceptualization, design and implementation of cutting edge solutions to make agriculture more sustainable. His focus is on agile and robust field assessment practices, landscape and supply chain approaches to sustainability, and organizational development. 

Dr. Wesley Zandberg

Wes Zandberg earned his Ph.D. degree in chemistry in 2010 at Simon Fraser University (SFU) where he also worked until Dec 2014 as a post-doctoral fellow (PDF). Both his Ph.D. and PDF research were focused on the metabolism (Ph.D.) and biosynthesis (PDF) of carbohydrates, more specifically, the complex polymers made out of simpler carbohydrate (i.e. sugar) building blocks. Much of this research required the development of new analytical tools and methodologies to enable complex carbohydrate analysis. Wes began his independent research career in 2015 in the department of chemistry at UBC’s Okanagan campus where his group continues to specialize in the development of analytical methods and tools for the analysis of chemically complex carbohydrates extracted from plant, animal or fungal tissue samples. Current research projects in the Zandberg lab include (1) the analysis of grape/wine metabolites that are typically found chemically-linked to sugars, and the digestion of these compounds during fermentation and/or wine ageing; (2) the analysis the complex carbohydrates in milk and dairy products, and how these are metabolized by gut bacteria; and (3) the analysis of how pathogenic gut microbes degrade intestinal mucus—a substance that may exceed 80 percent carbohydrate, by mass—an how this process leads to chronic inflammation and/or infections in people and animals. Since 2015, students in the Zandberg group have been focusing the majority of their wine-research efforts on understanding the phenomenon of smoke-taint in collaboration with several vineyards/wineries in the Okanagan valley.

Dr. Tom Forge

Tom Forge is a research soil ecologist and nematologist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, located at the Summerland Research and Development Centre. The focus of his research program is the ecology, impacts and management of plant-parasitic nematodes affecting horticultural crops.

Tom’s educational background and experience includes a B.Sc. (Biology) from Kansas State University, Ph.D. (Plant Pathology) from the University of Wisconsin, and post-doctoral research at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute in Scotland, the Pacific Forestry Centre in Victoria, and Oregon State University. Tom worked as an independent research consultant in the Okanagan from 1996 until 2001, when he formally joined AAFC, initially at the Agassiz Research and Development Centre in the Fraser Valley. In 2013 Tom returned to the Summerland Research and Development Centre and renewed his focus on plant parasitic nematodes and integrated root health management for vineyard and orchard crops. Tom is also Test Site Manager for the Minor Use Pesticides Program at the Summerland Research Centre.

Dr. Mehdi Sharifi

Dr. Mehdi Sharifi is a research scientist at Summerland Research and Development Centre, BC since 2016. Most recently, for 5 years Dr. Sharifi was Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Agriculture and an Assistant Professor at Trent University’s School of Environment. From 2010 to 2012, he served as the Nutrient Management Research Chair and Assistant Professor at the Environmental Sciences Department of the Faculty of Agriculture at Dalhousie University (formerly the Nova Scotia Agricultural College).  Prior to that he did a two-year  postdoctoral fellowship at the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada in Truro, NS, (2008-2010) and a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at AAFC’s Fredericton Research and Development Centre, NB, (2005-2008). Dr. Sharifi’s research activities are focused on sustainable nutrient management for perennial horticultural crops including grapes, apples and cherries. His interests extend to the use and management of cover crops, and soil amendments in horticultural crops.

Dr. Tanja Voegel

Dr. Voegel is a Research Associate at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus. Her work focuses on Agrobacterium vitis, the causal agent of grapevine crown gall. She developed a methodology for quantification of the pathogen in grapevine nursery stock and vineyard soil and is interested in biological control and the use of organic management strategies to combat crown gall. She obtained her doctoral degree in 2010 from the University of Freiburg, Germany and UC Davis, CA where she studied Xylella fastidiosa, the causal agent of Pierce’s disease of grapevines with Dr. Bruce Kirkpatrick. She worked with Dr. Walter D. Gubler on grapevine trunk diseases and the powdery mildew risk index model. Since her move to Kelowna in 2011 she has worked with Dr. Louise Nelson at UBCO on the effects of organic amendments and irrigation on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and the expansion of cherry production in BC under climate change.

Emma Holmes

Emma Holmes is the Organics Industry Specialist with the BC Ministry of Agriculture. She studied Agroecology (B.Sc) and Soil Science (M.Sc) at UBC) and went on to work on diversified organic farming operations on the coast. Her keen interest in extension led her to a role coordinating an on-farm extension program for growers in Metro Vancouver before starting with the Ministry in 2017.

Dr. Roger Sugden

Roger Sugden is Professor and Dean at UBC’s Faculty of Management, and Director of the Regional Socio-Economic Development Institute of Canada. He previously worked in the UK, Italy and Germany. His research is on economic organization, the interests of publics, and regional socio-economic development. He is currently working on the organization of knowledge and wine territory development; the history of occupational structure and economic strategy in the Okanagan; and the organization of management education at universities. Since 2012, he has been part of a group at UBC's Okanagan campus collaborating with industry stakeholders and with international partners to support development of the BC wine territory. At a series of workshops across the province in 2017 and 2018, and at the UBC Wine Leaders Forum 2018, the group worked with industry participants on actions, needs, and challenges in support of the continued development of a BC wine territory identity. An objective is to stimulate emergence of a cohesive voice across the wine territory, supporting each of its regions to develop, recognizing their diversity; and to enable a deeper narrative for industry organizations, regional associations and individual wineries to build upon.

Dr. Simone Castellarin

Dr. Castellarin is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, and a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Viticulture and Plant Genomics. Dr. Castellarin research focuses on grape production, and how the climate affects grape ripening and quality. In 2009, he received the Rudolf Hermanns Prize (Geisenhem, Germany) for outstanding scientific achievements in horticulture and viticulture.

Dr. Castellarin investigates the ripening processes in grapes and the biological mechanisms that determine grape and wine quality. Moreover, he studies how grape quality is affected by environmental factors (temperature and water). Dr. Castellarin is developing viticultural strategies (irrigation, crop management, hormone applications, leaf removal) to improve ripening and the production of phenolics and aromatics in grapes.

Dr. Michelle Franklin

Michelle Franklin has worked on the development of biocontrol products for the control of insect pests and plant pathogens at the Institute for Sustainable Horticulture, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) for the past seven years.  Prior to this she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Simon Fraser University studying the relationship between population cycles in the western tent caterpillar and baculovirus infection. She completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science at Simon Fraser University (SFU) and a PhD at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where her research focused on the population genetic structure of cabbage looper as it relates to insecticide resistance management.   Michelle has also performed research on bumble bees and the effects of neonicotinoids on their health and foraging ability.  In her current position at the Institute for Sustainable Horticulture, she manages a research team and a number of industry-partnership projects in the area of new biopesticides and integrated pest management.  In addition, Michelle teaches in the Biology and Horticulture departments at KPU.

Dr. Miranda Hart

Miranda Hart is a professor from the University of British Columbia, Canada.  She studies soil microbial ecology and plant microbe interactions in viticultural systems and natural systems.  Her work focuses on how growers can manipulate soil biodiversity to improve vine performance and berry quality.   

Dr. Dan Durall

Dr. Daniel Durall is an Associate Professor at UBC Okanagan and has been publishing in the field of mycology for over 25 years. His research focuses on wine yeasts that are responsible for fermenting wine and how they affect the sensory attributes in the final wine product. He presently has secured funding from UBC, NSERC and BC Wine and Grape Council. He also supervises 4 graduate students, and 2 undergraduate students. He has collaborated with winemakers from Quails’ Gate, Cedar Creek, Tantalus, 50th parallel, Mission Hill Family Estate, and La Stella wineries. His lab’s findings illustrate the clear influence of commercial ADY strains on the composition of S. cerevisiae strains during inoculated and spontaneous fermentations at Okanagan wineries. Recently his lab has shown indigenous Saccharomyces uvarum strains out-competing Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains in Okanagan fermentations conducted at relatively cool temperatures. The benefits of using S. uvarum in fermentations will be discussed.

Dr. Jose Ramon Urbez Torres

Dr. José Ramón Úrbez-Torres is a Research Scientist at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Summerland Research and Development Centre in British Columbia and serves as Adjunct Professor in the Biology Department at the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus. He received a postgraduate master’s degree in viticulture, enology and wine marketing in 2001 from the International Social Science Council and the degree of Agricultural Engineering in 2004 from the University of Valladolid in Spain. Dr. Úrbez-Torres completed a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology in 2009 in the Plant Pathology Department at the University of California Davis. Dr. Úrbez-Torres has studied diseases of woody perennial crops, primarily grapevines, tree fruits and nut crops since 1999 and his current research focuses on the development and implementation of sustainable management strategies for fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases of grapevines and tree fruits in Canada. He is the regional representative for North America on the International Council for Grapevine Trunk Diseases and current President of the American Phytopathological Society Pacific Division.

Dr. Vivien Measday

Dr. Measday is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia’s Wine Research Centre. Her research focus is the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae both as a model and industrial organism. Dr. Measday is collaborating with wineries in the Okanagan to characterize vineyard-associated yeast populations by using spontaneous fermentation to enrich for enologically relevant yeast species, in particular S. cerevisiae. Dr. Measday genetically profiles S. cerevisiae strains isolated from vineyard environments using microsatellite markers and compares the profiles to industrial wine strains. The goal of Dr. Measday’s research program is to characterize the microbial terroir of the Okanagan Valley and assess its potential contribution to the sensory profiles of wines made by spontaneous fermentation.

Rob Achurch

Growing up in rural Australia with a love of the land and the diversity and beauty it possessed was what led Rob into the viticulture field over 15 years ago.  While studying viticulture at Charles Sturt University in Australia, Rob was offered a start in the industry and from there his passion grew moving on to work for some of the largest producers in the Hunter Valley. Rob's experience was diverse, learning a lot about the balance of viticultural science and practical large scale farming. A self confessed weather geek and lover of all things dirt, Rob knows that harnessing all that mother nature has to offer blended seamlessly with modern day technology and a deep understanding of the land are key drivers of exceptional quality wine. It was this love of the land that drew him to the Okanagan 6 years ago.  Rob has an excellent level of understanding of the nuances of different vineyard blocks and how best to enhance their unique characteristics all while keeping the health and vitality of the land at its optimum.  Rob thrives on the working with the winemakers to deliver premium grapes every single harvest

Dr. Tom Lowery

Dr. Tom Lowery has over 20 years of experience conducting research on the sustainable management of grape pests and the control of grapevine viruses. His pest management research includes many non-chemical methods, including chemical and biological controls, leafhopper antifeedants and repellents, and the use of beneficial vineyard groundcover vegetation for the management of grapevine pests. His research on the epidemiology and management of plant viruses currently includes work on Grapevine leafroll associated viruses and Grapevine red blotch virus. He is an affiliate with the Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute at Brock University and an associate with UBC-Okanagan, Kelowna. He served for many years on a number of BCWGC Research and Development committees and has produced 4 editions of the insect and mite chapter of the BC Production Guide for Grapes, as well as accompanying photo guides for grapevine pests and for beneficial insects.

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