Wildfires and Smoke: Managing Uncertainty and Risk
General Session

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Welcome & Introductions

Patty Skinkis, President, American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV)

It is widely recognized that winegrape vineyards exposed to fresh wildfire smoke can result in quality losses and render crops unsuitable for commercial wine production. However, too often growers, winemakers and managers lack the knowledge and tools needed to make timely, informed decisions about the status of winegrapes exposed to smoke and how to prevent or mitigate damage when smoke events occur. The lack of science-based information and effective tools leads to uncertainty and the potential for greater losses than should otherwise occur. This session will identify key knowledge gaps challenging industry operators and offer insights on how to manage through the uncertainty that accompanies smoke events in wine country.

*Applied For 1.5 Professional Development CCA CE Units

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Gregg Hibbits
Mesa Vineyard Management, California

Gregg grew up on his family’s ranch in Santa Barbara County and graduated from UC Davis.  After graduation, he managed a large diversified tree crop operation in Northern California for several years.  In 1999, he returned to the Central Coast and went to work for Mesa Vineyard Management, overseeing vineyards in Santa Barbara and Monterey counties.  In 2002, he became the General Manager of Mesa Vineyard Management and continues in that role today.

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Tom Collins
Washington State University, Tri-Cities

Dr. Collins is an Assistant Professor of Grape and Wine Chemistry in the Viticulture and Enology Program at Washington State University. He manages a research program in wine and spirits aroma and flavor chemistry and teaches course in wine chemistry and winery operations. Tom’s current research focuses on the impacts of wildfire smoke exposure on grape and wine quality.


Anita Oberholster
University of California, Davis

Anita Oberholster completed her PhD in wine sciences at the University of Adelaide, Australia in 2008. She moved to the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis, California as a Cooperative Extension Specialist in 2011, from her role as researcher at the Department of Viticulture and Oenology at Stellenbosch University.


Bruce Pan
E. & J. Gallo Winery, California

Bruce Pan leads the Chemistry Research group in Winegrowing Research at E. & J. Gallo Winery and holds undergraduate and doctorate degrees from Cornell University. His interests focus on elucidating the relationship between fruit composition and desired sensory attributes in resulting wines, as well as leveraging advanced analytical platforms at commercial scale to improve wine quality.


Dale Stern
Downey Brand, LLP, California

Dale Stern is a partner at Downey Brand and co-chair of the firm’s highly regarded food and agriculture practice, which is known for its deep industry expertise on a broad spectrum of issues from food labeling and packaging to pesticide regulations and drift litigation, and from water supply and water quality compliance to estate and succession planning. 

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