Research, extension and education are fundamental aspects of the NGWI mission.
Continued dialogue with university, government and industry has led to the alignment of the NGWI research and extension priorities.
NGWI is also focused on helping wine and grape researchers obtain funds for their research projects.
Research, extension and education are fundamental aspects of the NGWI mission. Continued dialogue with university, government and industry has led to the alignment of the NGWI research and extension priorities.
The priorities are organized into five key theme areas. As part of NGWI’s structure, committees made up of industry members knowledgeable in each topic area, have been formed to focus on research needs and to spearhead activities that ensure projects are funded, objectives are achieved and outreach/education efforts are in place to benefit industry.
These NGWI Theme Committees have each developed a set of action steps for both the short and long term. Below is a list of the five theme areas and a brief description of the kinds of topics addressed under each theme. Links are provided to the actions steps, which will ensure goals in the five key theme areas are accomplished.
1. Understanding and Improving Quality
The mission of this committee is to understand, enhance and consistently deliver unique and desirable attributes of grapes and grape products to increase consumer acceptance and economic sustainability.
This theme area concentrates on research to assist industry in growing, harvesting and producing the highest quality grapes and grape products. The current focus is on modern analytical methods that identify quality and sensory attributes in wine and other grape products and to understand mechanisms that control these components. As part of this effort, the group plans to develop a national sensory training network and a center for chemical testing. In addition, work is being done to establish a national center to provide Clean Plant Materials for growers.
2. Consumer Insights and Nutrition
The mission of this committee is to explore, document and communicate the health benefits of grapes and grape products.
This theme area concentrates on research to explore the health benefits of grapes and grape products. The current focus is on compiling all known nutritional research and developing strategies to obtain funding from the National Institutes of Health for a major study on health attributes of grapes and grape products. In addition, the group is working to provide industry with communications tools from existing research to promote the health benefits of grapes and grape products.
3. Production Efficiency
The mission of this committee is to lead research and innovation, which improves the viability and competitiveness of grapes and grape products.
This area concentrates on research to enhance existing technologies for improved vineyard and production systems that are cost effective and efficient. The current focus is on vineyard design; trellis and training systems; mechanization; crop load and canopy management; yield estimation; and irrigation and fertilization requirements. In addition, the group is seeking improvements in HAACP management tools for processing facilities.
4. Sustainable Practices
The mission of this committee is to prioritize research and extend information on farming, handling, and processing practices that are environmentally friendly, socially equitable and economically sustainable.
This area concentrates on research to improve farming and processing practices that are environmentally-friendly and sustainable. The current focus is on enhanced systems for managing waste streams and run-off from both vineyards and processing facilities. The group is also working towards improvements in energy conservation, integrated pest and pathogen management and maximization of productivity with respect to financial and human resources.
5. Extension and Outreach
The mission of this committee is to facilitate and coordinate Extension and Outreach education efforts to address critical needs related to grape and grape product production and processing.
This theme area concentrates on ensuring industry members are aware of and have access to findings from grape and grape products research. The current focus is on assembling and expanding the collection of existing educational materials on viticulture, winemaking and grape processing. The group is also working to facilitate adoption of best management practices in a number of areas and on expanding communications tools to improve access to research for industry members.