UC Davis Viticulture and Enology Recieves $12.5 Million Gift
The UC Davis Viticulture and Enology Department received a donation of $12.5 million that will fund projects in dire need of money. This donation came at a very important time in enology and viticulture research, as Australia is spending more than five times than the United States.
The donation was made my one of the Napa Valley’s oldest wine families. The Rossi family has been growing grapes in the Napa Valley since 1905, when Fred and Rachel Rossi purchased St. Helena Ranch. The Rossi’s sold their grapes to some of the most famous producers in the Napa Valley; Robert Mondavi Winery and Krug Winery.
Louise, the daughter of Fred and Rachel Rossi was a long time supporter of UC Davis. She showed her loyalty to the university as she gave the institution the funds resulting from the sale of her 52-acre ranch. The gift will also fund the development of the Robert Mondavi Institute of Wine and Food Science.
The late Louise Rossi never married, and died without heirs. She was dedicated to sustainable farming, so it is no surprise that most of the funds will be spent on researching organic and sustainable farming techniques.
The Rossi Ranch was purchased by Frog’s Leap Winery. Louise Rossi and Frog’s Leap owner John Williams became friends when the winery begin buying grapes from Rossi’s property. Before her death, Louise Rossi made plans to sell her ranch to Frog’s Leap, as their organic farming philosophy was in tune with her views.
This donation is incredibly important for the UC Davis Viticulture and Enology department. With the difficulty in getting projects funded, the donation could not have come at a better time.