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Exploring CA Wine: A workshop with Science, Swirling and Sipping

Note: to accompany this talk you may purchase an optional wine flight. It will include 2oz pours of 5 wines from Prof. Crews' own Pelican Ranch winery. The cost will be $10 in advance or $15 at the door (while supplies last). Please register at for advance purchases. Appetizers and meals will be available off the regular Forager menu.

Wine is a complex liquid comprised of many bioorganic and bioinorganic compounds in a 12.5% alcoholic solution with a pH range of 3-4. Wine quality assessment and winemaking methods have been in place for many centuries. Nowadays, contemporary approaches to winemaking are quite scientific as many aspects of this complex drink appear to be understood. For example, a fascinating book, “Understanding Wine Chemistry,” by Waterhouse, Sacks, & Jeffery was recently published in 2016. Decades ago, Wired Magazine reported on the Grapes of Math (GoM) in an comprehensive article that showed how that consulting companies employ emerging science exist to help winemakers craft award winning wines. In this wine-centric event we will explore principles of wine making and wines through sensory evaluations and correlating this with wine molecules. Different flavor outcomes achieved in wine making as a function of grape variety and the terroir differences of vineyards in California will be illustrated.

Phillip Crews, PhD, currently holds the title of Distinguished Research Professor of Chemistry at UC Santa Cruz and is involved in marine natural products chemistry research. Highlights of his past academic training include the BS degree from UC Los Angeles, the PhD degree from UC Santa Barbara, and appointment as an NSF Postdoc Fellow at Princeton University. Apparently, he finds life in California to be irresistible as his entire independent professional career, rising through the ranks from Assistant Professor to Full Professor, has been on UC Santa Cruz campus. The isolation and study of bioactive constituents from tropical sponges persists as a core interest. This work has been described in more than 240 publications and the lab enjoys current support from grants funded by the NSF and NIH. More than 100 students (PhD & postdocs) have been trained in the Crews lab. Finally, another abiding interest focuses on the secondary metabolites created during the fermentation of Vitis vinifera fruit!

Remember: register at to pay for the wine flight at the advance purchase price of $10.

Earlier Event: August 8
BAR Con: Tabletop and Tunes
Later Event: August 16