By Jessica Yadegaran
Monday, July 10th, 2006 at 10:14 am in Uncategorized.
Like California Chardonnay? Well, you owe it to Harold Olmo, a viticulturist and geneticist that took the grape from its humble beginnings of 50 acres in 1960 to 100,000 acres today. Olmo figured out how to develop the variety with larger clusters and greater disease resistance, and it soared. He created another 30 varietals, including emerald reisling, centurion and carnelian, and though I’ve never tried any of these, I’m going to seek them out this week in his honor. Olmo died of complications from a hip fracture on June 30. He was 96 and spent over half his life working as a researcher and professor at UC Davis. Toast to his life tonight. I know I will.