James Osborne Named Director of the Oregon Wine Research Institute

Following a comprehensive search, Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences has named Dr. James Osborne as its new Director of the Oregon Wine Research Institute (OWRI).

Osborne is a globally recognized professor and enology Extension specialist in the Food Science and Technology department at Oregon State University. His research focuses on the impact of wine microorganisms on wine quality and has been featured in more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, conference proceedings, trade magazines, and Extension publications. A recognized leader in the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (currently serving as second VP), Osborne’s academic career began at Massey University in New Zealand, and he holds a Ph.D. in Food Science from Washington State University. Osborne has received numerous awards for his research and teaching efforts including co-authoring the best enology paper in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture for 2023 and being added to the registry of Distinguished Teachers at OSU.

“We are thrilled to announce Osborne’s appointment to this important leadership position,” said Staci Simonich, Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Director of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station. “His expertise working with international research collaborators, and the trust he has built with both colleagues and Oregon’s vital wine industry over the seventeen years he has been with our College make him a strong leader for this important multidisciplinary institution.”

According to a 2022 report from the National Association of American Wineries, the Oregon wine industry generates over $7 billion of value to the US economy. Founded in 2008 as a partnership between the Oregon wine industry and Oregon State University, the Oregon Wine Research Institute (OWRI) builds on Oregon’s reputation of quality in grape and wine production and enables growers and winemakers to make informed decisions to further enhance its well-deserved reputation.

“I am excited to lead this group of world-class scientists at the OWRI in our mission to support the dynamic Oregon wine industry”, Osborne said. “During my time at OSU it has been amazing to see the growth of the Oregon wine industry and how the OWRI partners with industry to address various challenges and opportunities that arise. We are fortunate in Oregon to have some of the top scientists in the world leading cutting-edge research to help advance solutions to increasingly complex challenges.”

Osborne will continue to lead his research program as he takes on this new leadership role at the OWRI.