Wine Chemist to Talk About Wine Grapes

UC Davis enologist to give Arturo Gomez-Pompa Lecture on May 20 at UC Riverside

Andrew Waterhouse. Photo credit: UC Davis.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Wine chemist Andrew Waterhouse at the University of California, Davis will give the Arturo Gomez-Pompa Lecture on Wednesday, May 20, at the University of California, Riverside.

The talk, titled “Vinifera: A Responsive Source of Secondary Natural Products,” will begin at 4:10 p.m. in the auditorium of the Genomics Building.

The talk is geared towards botanists and wine enthusiasts.

Waterhouse, a professor of enology, explained that wine grapes (Vitis vinifera) are exquisitely responsive to the environment.

“Thus we have famous winegrowing regions because the different flavors arise from the vines producing more of the substances that protect the grapes or encourage predation,” he said.

A prominent enologist, Waterhouse studies the phenolic compounds – a class of natural phytochemicals that affect the taste, color and mouthfeel of wine – in wine and wine grapes.

Andrew Waterhouse, UC Davis professor of enology, will give the Arturo Gomez-Pompa Lecture at UC Riverside on May 20. Photo credit: UC Davis.

Andrew Waterhouse, UC Davis professor of enology, will give the Arturo Gomez-Pompa Lecture at UC Riverside on May 20. Photo credit: UC Davis.

His research activity addresses two types of their effects: those that are important to the taste of wine and those that relate to health effects on wine consumers. In both cases, his laboratory collaborates with others who can help utilize the data and assisting in our understanding of these compounds.

In the area of wine quality, Waterhouse’s current interest is in the effect of oxidation on wine chemistry and how this oxidation affects important quality parameters of wine, such as taste and color. He has been studying micro-oxygenation and its effect on wine color and tannins, but has also been investigating the basic chemistry of wine oxidation. His teaching includes a wine analysis course and a wine chemistry course.

Gomez-Pompa, after whom the lecture is named, is a University Professor and a distinguished professor emeritus of botany and plant sciences at UCR, who first alerted the world to the global consequences of tropical deforestation.  Widely known for his contributions to the biological sciences, he is passionate about the study of plant resources of Mexico’s tropics and is one of the pioneers of ecological conservation in Mexico. More about him here.

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