The Biotechnology of Oenology


The Biotechnology of Oenology

Kerith Overstreet
Co-Founder, Chief Scientist, Bruliam Wines

Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 5:30-8:30 pm

Winemaking is both an art and a science. The unique flourish and complexity of great wine is enabled by a winemaker who fully integrates the scientific foundation with her art. Kerith will showcase of emerging technology in the craft of wine production. Beginning in the vineyard with an overview of root stock selection and scion material, Kerith then delves into the contentious debate on genetically engineered root stock and how genetic instability proffers an infinite number of pinot noir clones. The primary grapevine viruses that threaten the Vitis vinifera crop will also be mentioned, followed by the science of fermentation. Genetic sequencing had transformed the taxonomy of fermentation yeast from mildly confusing to mind-numbingly bewildering! Native yeast and bacteria interact dynamically in the context of bacteriocins and bacteriophages. The biochemistry of malolactic fermentation and how winemakers manipulate the citric acid cycle create extraordinary buttery flavors. Finally we will briefly discuss the science of aging wine with a focus on oxidation chemistry and our emerging understanding of superoxides. The role of tannin elongation in organoleptic development will be reviewed in conjunction with the basic biochemistry of oak barrel aging. At last, for those participants not already deep in stage 3 REM slumber, we will drink more wine.

Bruliam2 Kerith Overstreet is a physician who has turned her research and investigative talents to winemaking. Kerith’s MD is from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and her BA in English Literature from Cornell. With clinical and laboratory experience, a dozen papers and several awards for best research, Kerith is well-equipped to bring the best of science and technology to the marvellous art of oenology.

Bruliam wines will be served with a light dinner catered by Bibi Kasrai of Harvard Cookie Girl.

Location Sponsor:

Knobbe logo 12790 El Camino Real
San Diego, CA 92130


Registration online : $40 (until April 26), $30 student/affiliate/in transition
Onsite $45, $35 student/affiliate/in transition

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