Press Release


Monica Cooper and Sarah MacDonald with UC Cooperative Extension Win The 2015 Vintage Report Innovation Award Presented by Bank of the West
San Francisco, CA | Jan 19, 2016

Winning Viticulture Entry: Applications for Grapevine Leafroll Disease Management

Today, Bank of the West and Fruition Sciences recognize the winner of the 2015 Vintage Report Innovation Award presented by Bank of the West. The award celebrates innovation and sustainability in viticulture. This year's winner was a collaborative experiment by Monica Cooper, Ph.D., and Sarah MacDonald, Ph.D. (Owner, Envision Geo) with UC Cooperative Extension. Cooper and MacDonald's experiment presented a new way to manage grapevine leafroll disease, a major threat to vineyard health. Their project and results were presented at Fruition Sciences' 2015 Vintage Report Conference in Napa, CA. 

"The landscape for change and innovation in the viticulture space must be encouraged and rewarded to find new ways of solving key issues in the industry," said Managing Director Adam Beak, head of the Premium Wine Group with Bank of the West Commercial Banking Group. "Through our partnership with Fruition Sciences, we have the privilege of awarding projects that demonstrate some of the most creative ideas in the valley today."

The winning entry focused on field–testing and commercialization of the technology with preliminary work completed at Washington State University. Grapevine leafroll disease is one of the most significant viral diseases of grapevines worldwide, occurring in every grape-growing region and infecting wine, juice and table grape cultivars, as well as rootstocks. Although the disease is not typically lethal, significant economic losses result from a combination of factors. There is no cure for this disease, and infected vines must be removed from the vineyard to reduce disease pressure. However, locating diseased vines—a process that has traditionally been accomplished through field mapping and laboratory analysis—is complicated by the high labor inputs involved in training individuals to recognize disease and the mapping process itself. The winning experiment used hyperspectral airborne imaging to identify diseased vines enabling vineyards to gather data from thousands of acres of vines in a single three-hour flight.

About Fruition Sciences
Founded in 2007, Fruition Sciences is an information technology company providing winemakers and grape growers with a decision tool to optimize their vineyard management. With a focus on monitoring plant physiology, Fruition Sciences has developed a very unique approach to optimize vineyard monitoring.

About Bank of the West
Bank of the West is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $74 billion in assets as of September 31, 2015. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 600 offices in 22 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 185,000 employees.

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