Harold Olmo

Harold Olmo was truly a pioneer in the area of viticulture and vineyard research.  Working out of a lab at the University of California Davis, he was among the first scientists to turn his attention to the wine industry, helping the nearby winemaking regions of Napa Valley and Sonoma County grow in terms of both popularity and quality.

The majority of his research was centered around creating new grape varieties.  Blending grapes such as Ruby Cabernet and Rubired are his direct creations.

While Dr Olmo is known first and foremost for his creation of grape species, we think his creation of a quarantine facility at UC Davis was among his most important acts for the California wine industry.  Before the quarantine facility winemakers and vineyard owners always had to think twice about importing European and other non-native plants because of the threat of disease.  No one wants to risk destroying their entire vineyard and in a worst case scenario, the entire region, even if they think a new grape or rootstock will grow incredibly well on their property.  Being able to quarantine newly imported rootstock and vines made it possible for California vintners to safely experiment with clones from the entire world and clearly helped the growth of many niche's within the wine industry, with Pinot Noir among the forefront examples.