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  October 2016                        Common Ground; Innovative Research                  NGWI.ORG

In This Issue
Calendar of Events

Sustainable Ag Expo
November 14-16 2016
San Luis Obispo, CA

NGWI Fall Board Meeting
November 17, 2016
Burlingame, CA

North Carolina Winegrowers Association Conference 2017
January 20-21. 2017
Winston-Salem, NC

Unified Wine & Grape Symposium
January 24-26, 2017
Sacramento, CA

NGWI Annual Meeting of the Members and Board Meeting
January 27, 2017
Sacramento, CA

Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers Convention
February 7-9 2017
Kennewick, WA

Texas Association of Wine Grape Growers Annual Conference & Trade Show
February 16-18, 2017
San Marcos, TX

Oregon Wine Symposium
February 21-22, 2017
Portland, OR

WiVi Central Coast Conference and Trade Show
March 15, 2017
Paso Robles, CA

Eastern Winery Exposition
March 22-24, 2017
Syracuse, NY

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The National Grape and Wine Initiative focuses on research and extension to strengthen the US grape and grape product industries in partnership with academics and government. Grapes are the nation's leading specialty crop and all industry segments including raisin, juice, fresh grape and wine created the NGWI coalition to drive research for maximum productivity, sustainability and competitiveness. NGWI aims to lead the world in consumer value and quality.  

Grape Genetics Future for Sustainability: VitisGen Update   
Vitis Gen is $4.5 million, five-year Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) funded project and strongly supported by NGWI. This multi-disciplinary, collaborative project is focused on decreasing the time, effort and cost involved in developing the next generation of grapes. VitisGen incorporates cutting edge genomics technology and socioeconomic research into the traditional grape breeding and evaluation process. The work resulting from the project will speed up the ability to identify important genes related to consumer and industry valued traits like disease resistance, low temperature tolerance and enhanced fruit quality.

To date the VitisGen project has been extremely successful at moving the needle in terms of advancement for traditional grape breeding and evaluation through cutting-edge genomics. This update on VitisGen looks at some of the work done by the scientists focusing on the genetic control of compounds that influence the taste, aroma and color of grapes and the products made from them, and how breeders can use that information to
develop new varieties that will appeal to consumers.

The grant period for VitisGen I has completed, however the research team is working hard on the next steps of the project by developing a refined proposal for VitisGen II to be submitted for SCRI funding in November, 2016. In the meantime, it is important to note some of the key achievements to date.

Implemented marker-assisted selection and marker-assisted parent selection in U.S. breeding programs (processing more than 16,000 seedlings and more than 2,000 genotypes representing germplasm and parental material) have yielded the following, in addition to other achievements:
  • Identified more than 70 marker-trait associations by integrating data from the genotyping center, the three phenotyping centers, and from the local phenotyping effort within VitisGen breeding programs,
  • Demonstrated that juice protein concentration can model low tannin extractability during fermentation,
  • Produced economic models for benefits from trait improvements such as the adoption of powdery mildew resistant cultivars, and
  • Evaluated the environmental costs of disease management
Additionally, the team produced and released 5 You Tube videos:  
1) "VitisGen: How Grape Breeders Make Crosses," click here to view 
2) "VitisGen: Researching Powdery Mildew Resistance," click here to view 
3) "Industry Voices In Support of VitisGen," click here to view 
4) "It's All About the Genes: Wine Flavor," click here to view
5) "It's All About the Genes: Color", click here to view


The ultimate goal remains to make available to U.S. grape producers and processors new varieties with traits they value and would ultimately lower the cost of production; reduce the environmental impact; and increase the quality of products produced.  To learn more about VitisGen visit
SCRI Request for Pre-Applications Released
The USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) who oversees the Specialty Crop Research Initiative has released the FY 2017 RFPA for grant funding.The purpose of the SCRI program is to address the critical needs of the specialty crop industry by awarding grants to support research and extension that address key challenges of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional and organic food production systems. Projects must address at least one of five focus areas:
  • Research in plant breeding, genetics, genomics, and other methods to improve crop characteristics
  • Efforts to identify and address threats from pests and diseases, including threats to specialty crop pollinators
  • Efforts to improve production efficiency, handling and processing, productivity, and profitability over the long term (including specialty crop policy and marketing)
  • New innovations and technology, including improved mechanization and technologies that delay or inhibit ripening
  • Methods to prevent, detect, monitor, control, and respond to potential food safety hazards in the production efficiency, handling and processing of specialty crops.
To view the RFPA, please click here. The deadline for the RFPA is November 15, 2016.
Seeking NGWI Support for Grant Proposals 
NGWI works with research institutions and partners throughout the United States seeking to drive innovative research that will maximize the productivity, sustainability and competitiveness of the American grape industries. As such, NGWI is often contacted to seek support or partnership in some capacity for research proposals that could aid in attaining this vision. In order for NGWI committee consideration to be as transparent, consistent and efficient as possible, the attached document outlines what is requested of those seeking NGWI consideration for research proposals.

Please click here for the document regarding submission information. 
Research in the News
There is a great deal of grape and wine research taking place around the country and the world. Here are a few links to stories covering advancements impacting our industry: 

Genomics breakthrough paves way for climate-tolerant grape varieties, from 
WSU scientists studying effects of smoke on vineyards, from the Yakima Valley Herald Republic, . Click here to view the article.
Support NGWI Today!
The National Grape & Wine Initiative is a 501 (c)(3) research foundation working collaboratively with all sectors of the grape industries - table, raisin, juice and wine - from throughout the US to drive critical research and technological advancements forward. NGWI is the only national all grape organization working in this manner and seeks to be the convener of the grape, research, academic, extension and funding communities to ensure mutual success. NGWI's work has succeeded in developing and promoting research projects that cannot be actualized by any one sector or region, but rather brings the collective and collaborative work of the entire grape industry together to achieve. It also identifies needed funding support, including cash and in-kind contributions from the industry which are leveraged to gain significant state and federal research grants. Since 2008, nearly $30 million in grants have been awarded to grape projects with which NGWI is associated. Please consider joining and supporting the success of the industry by contacting the NGWI office at 916.446.3900 or by e-mailing Camron King, President at