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Viticulture briefs

UC Davis study finds microbial terroir

A new study led by UC Davis researchers offers evidence that grapes and the wines they produce are the product of a microbial terroir, shaped by the climate and geography of the region, vineyard and even individual vine.

DNA sequencing revealed patterns in the fungal and bacterial communities that inhabit the surface of wine grapes, and these patterns are influenced by vineyard environmental conditions.

The findings appeared online in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“The study results represent a real paradigm shift in our understanding of grape and wine production, as well as other food and agricultural systems in which microbial communities impact the qualities of the fresh or processed products,” David Mills, a microbiologist in the Department of Viticulture and Enology and Department of Food Science and Technology, said in a statement.

Modern Cooperage inks distribution agreement

Modern Cooperage has inked an agreement to distribute the Healdsburg company’s stainless steel wine barrels in California, Oregon, Washington and Canada.

Metro Label will serve as the company’s West Coast distributor.

“Metro Label is a forward-thinking company and shares our vision for bringing innovative technologies to the wine industry,” Jon Roleder, president of Modern Cooperage, said in a statement.

The company’s patented barrel system features removable oak staves and an internal lees stirring system. After the initial cost of the stainless steel barrel, the stave replacement cost is one-tenth that of traditional oak barrels.

Sommelier Journal acquired, rebranded

TPM Custom Publishing has acquired Sommelier Journal and rebranded the magazine The SOMM Journal.

Anthony Dias Blue will serve as editor-in-chief and David Gadd will serve as managing editor, said Meridith May, TPM’s publisher, executive editor and owner.

The magazine’s founder, David Vogels, will act as consulting editor. The publication will align with wine associations and educators throughout the United States, but its content will broaden to include more coverage of artisan spirits, coffee, tea and food trends, May said.

“Sommelier Journal is an authoritative, highly-respected guide written by wine professionals for wine professionals,” May said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more delighted to take this esteemed publication to the next level.”

Press Democrat staff. Submit items to cathy.bussewitz@pressdemocrat.com.

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