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Olmo Harold

The American Botanist, Plant Physiologist, oenologist and vine grower Harold Paul Olmo (1909-2006) studied at the University of California in Berkeley horticulture and genetics. Toward the end of the American prohibition In 1931, he was appointed a professor of arachnology to the Reactivated Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California at Davis and director of the institute, Albert Julius Winkler (1894-1989) with the task of new breed entrusted by grape varieties. He subsequently became the leading vine geneticist of his era. Until his retirement in 1979, he created several thousand new varieties, of which around 30 were included in the National Variety Lists.

Dr. Harold Paul Olmo

Olmo completed that by US physiologist Maynard A. Amerine (1911-1998) created herbarium with many grape varieties that were grown between 1930 and 1980 in California and worldwide. He imported hundreds of varieties from Europe (Greece, Portugal, Spain) and the Middle East and made numerous attempts at developing documents and the breeding of hybrids by. Olmo recognized the enormous potential of American vine species Vitis rotundifolia Resistance to various vine diseases and especially their perfect Phylloxera resistance,

The new breeds created by him were among others Blush Seedless. Calzin. Carmine. Carnelian. Centurion. Christmas rose. Dawn Seedless. Delight. Early Muscat. Emerald Riesling. Emerald Seedless. flora. Niabell. Perlette. Red Globe. Royalty. Olmo grapes. Ruby Cabernet. Ruby Seedless and Symphony, Many of the varieties used in California today were introduced by him, for example the Syrah in 1936. On behalf of the UN, he was involved in numerous projects relating to food and agriculture organization. Luckily, he was also involved in the development of the first mechanical harvesters.

Through his extensive travels in Australia, South America, Europe, India, Afghanistan and Iran, he was named "Indiana Jones of Viticulture". Also the extensive consulting activities in his special discipline were appreciated worldwide. Olmo received numerous honors and medals for his services to viticulture, such as the American Pomology Society, the Pope, the OIV and the UN. In retirement, he continued to work on the topic of vine breeding.

Picture: By UC Davis archival photo , CC BY 3.0 , link

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