Wine and Viticulture

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+"://";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

L. Federico Casassa, Ph.D.

Federico CasassaAssociate Professor, Enology

Office: Building 11, Room 219
Phone: 805-756-2751
Office Hours: Current Quarter
Curriculum Vitae: Casassa CV (pdf)


Ph.D. Food Science| Wine Chemistry & Sensory Analysis |Washington State University, WA (USA) | 2013
MS, Viticulture & Enology |Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza (Argentina) | 2007
BS, Agronomic Engineering|Major Viticulture & Enology | Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza (Argentina) | 2004

Introductory Statement and Overview

The focus of my research lies on the broad areas of grape and wine chemistry and biochemistry and their sensory implications, with especial emphasis on applied research. I have been involved in research projects focusing on the impact of irrigation techniques, especially Regulated Deficit Irrigation. I am also interested on the chemical and sensory aspects arising from intrinsic variations of berry size in red wine cultivars, and their impact during winemaking. Current and ongoing research projects include studies on the extraction of phenolics of sensory relevance during the course of different maceration techniques in red wines (cold soak, extended maceration, saignée, cofermentation, stem and whole cluster additions), coupled with other regulating factors (grape maturity and composition, ethanol content, SO2 dosis), and their sensory impact as evaluated by formal sensory evaluation techniques.

In the past 10 years I have also been involved in practical winemaking conducted both at pilot and at commercial scale, being responsible for production of red, white, rosés, and late-harvest wines.

Courses at Cal Poly: WVIT 442 (Sensory Evaluation of Wine), WVIT 462 (Senior Project II), WVIT 405 (Winemaking II), WVIT 405 (Winemaking III), WVIT 202 (Fundamentals of Enology) and WVIT 477 (Advanced Wine Sensory Analysis)


Assistant Professor Federico Casassa was invited to teach a workshop on phenolic compounds in red wines at the Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University in Shaanxi Province, China ( He was named an advisory board member on the Diversity Committee for the Vintage Report Napa Valley and Paso Robles. Serving in the diversity committee Casassa also gave several industry presentations, including:

  • “Overview of Phenolic Extraction into Red Wine From a Cellular Perspective” at the 2017 Napa Vintage Report ( held at the Westin Verasa Napa in January 2018.

  • He also gave presentations for Scott Labs, WiVi Central Coast, and the Association of Grapegrowers of Temecula.

  • He published an open access peer-reviewed chapter titled “Flavanoid Phenolics in Red Winemaking ( and “Proteins and Bentonite in Winemaking: Chemical and Practical Aspects of Sensory Consequences,” (, which appears in “Post-Fermentation and Distillation Technology.’

  • Casassa also collaborated on a paper, “Inoculation Strategies to Improve Persistence and Implantation of Commercial S. cerevisiae Strains in Red Wines Produced with Prefermentative Cold Soak,” with a research group that does wine microbiology in his home country, Argentina (

  • He and Assistant Professor Jean Dodson Peterson and graduate student Paul Mawdsley collaborated on “Agronomical and Chemical Effects of the Timing of Cluster Thinning on Pinot Noir (Clone 115) Grapes and Wines,” a paper published in the journal Fermentation, Volume 4, Issue 3 (

Selected Publications

  • Casassa, L.F.; Sari, S.; Bolcato, E.A.; Fanzone, M.L. (2019). Microwave-assisted extraction applied to Merlot grapes with contrasting maturity levels: Effects on phenolic chemistry and wine color. Fermentation, 5(1), 15.
  • Casassa, L.F.; Sari, S.; Bolcato, E.A.; Diaz-Sambueza, M.; Catania, A.A.; Fanzone, M.L.; Raco, F.; Barda, N. (2019). Chemical and sensory effects of cold soak, whole cluster fermentation and stem additions in Pinot noir wines. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture 70: 19-33.
  • Dodson, J.C.; Ferrara, A.; Watson, K.; Casassa, L.F. (2018). The longevity of sustainable vineyard practices. Wine Business Case Research Journal. In Press. 
  • Mawdsley, P.F.; Dodson Peterson, J.C.; Casassa, L.F. (2018). Agronomical and chemical effects of the timing of cluster thinning on Pinot Noir (Clone 115) grapes and wines.Fermentation4(3), 60.
  • Maturano, Y.P.; Lerena, M.C.; Mestre, M.V.; Casassa, L.F.; Toro, M.A.; Vazquez, F.; Mercado, L.; Combina, M. (2018). Inoculation strategies to improve persistence and implantation of commercial S. cerevisiae strains in red wines produced with prefermentative cold soak. LWT - Food Science and Technology 97: 648–655.
  • Casassa, L.F. (2017). Proteins and Bentonite in Winemaking: Chemical and Practical Aspects and Sensory Consequences. In: Post-Fermentation and Distillation Technology - Stabilization, Aging, and Spoilage (Chapter 3). Edited by Mateo Bordiga.  CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, Florida.
  • Casassa, L.F. (2017). Flavonoid Phenolics in Red Winemaking. In: Phenolic Compounds - Natural Sources, Importance and Applications (Chapter 6). Edited by R.M. Soto Hernandez, R. Garcia-Mateos and M. Palma-Tenango. DOI: 10.5772/67452. InTech  ISBN 978-953-51-2957-8.
  • Keller, M.; Romero, P.; Gohil, H.; Smithyman, R.P.; Riley, W.R.; Casassa, L.F.; Harbertson, J.F. (2016). Deficit Irrigation alters grapevine growth, physiology, and fruit microclimate.American Journal of Enology and Viticulture. 67: 426-435.
  • Casassa, L.F.; Larsen, R.; Harbertson, J.F. (2016). Effects of vineyard and winemaking practices impacting berry size on evolution of phenolics during winemaking. American Journal of Enology and Viticulture. 67: 257-268
  • Alabi, O.; Casassa, L.F.; Gutha, L.; Larsen, C.L.; Henick-Kling, T.; Harbertson, J.F.; Naidu, R. (2016). Impacts of grapevine leafroll disease on fruit yield and grape and wine chemistry in a wine grape (Vitis vinifera L.) cultivar. Public Library of Science (PLOS ONE). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149666
  • Casassa, L.F., Bolcato, E.A., Sari, S.E., Fanzone, M.L. and V.P. Jofré (2016). Combined effect of prefermentative cold soak and SO2 additions in Barbera D’Asti and Malbec wines: anthocyanin composition, chromatic and sensory properties LWT- Food Science and Technology.  66: 134-142.
  • Casassa, L.F., Keller, M.; and J.F. Harbertson (2015). Regulated Deficit Irrigation alters anthocyanins, tannins and sensory properties of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and wines.Molecules. 20 (5): 7820-7844.
  • Casassa, L.F., Bolcato, E.A., and S.E. Sari (2015). Chemical, chromatic, and sensory attributes of 6 red wines produced with prefermentative cold soak. Food Chemistry. 174: 110-118.
  • Blanco, M.E., G.S. Gomez Talquenca, L.F. Casassa, S. Sari, M. del Rocio Torres, S. Ulanovsky and M.L. Fanzone (2015). Nucleotide sequence of key genes from the byosinthetic parthway of the major flavonoid in “Malbec” and “Cabernet Sauvignon”. Acta Horticulturae; DOI:10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1082.48.
  • Casassa, L.F., and J.F. Harbertson (2014). Extraction, Evolution, and Sensory Impact of Phenolic Compounds into Wine During Maceration. Annual Reviews of Food Science and Technology. February 2014, Issue 5: 83-109.
  • Casassa, L.F., and S.E. Sari (2014). Sensory and chemical effects of two alternatives of prefermentative cold soak in Malbec wines during winemaking and bottle aging.International Journal of Food Science and Technology. 50 (4): 1044–1055.
  • Casassa, L.F., R.C. Larsen C.W. Beaver, M.S. Mireles, M. Keller, W. Riley, R. Smithyman, and J.F. Harbertson (2013). Sensory impact of extended maceration and Regulated Deficit Irrigation (RDI) in Washington state Cabernet Sauvignon wines. American Journal of Viticulture and Enology, 64:505-514.
  • Casassa, L.F., R.C. Larsen C.W. Beaver, M.S. Mireles, H. Hopfer, H. Heymann, and J.F. Harbertson (2013). Influence of fruit maturity, maceration length, and ethanol amount on chemical and sensory properties of Merlot wines. American Journal of Viticulture and Enology, 64:437-449.
  • Casassa, L.F., R.C. Larsen C.W. Beaver, M.S. Mireles, M. Keller, W. Riley, R. Smithyman, and J.F. Harbertson (2013). Impact of extended maceration and Regulated Deficit Irrigation (RDI) in Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Characterization of proanthocyanidin distribution, anthocyanin extraction, and chromatic properties. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 61: 6446:6457.
  • CasassaL.F., C.W. Beaver, M.S. Mireles and J.F. Harbertson (2013). Effect of extended maceration and ethanol concentration on the extraction and evolution of phenolics, color components, and sensory attributes of Merlot wines. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 19:25-39.
  • CasassaL.F., L.S. Keirsey, M.S. Mireles and J.F. Harbertson (2012). Cofermentation of Syrah with Viognier: evolution of color and phenolics during winemaking and bottle aging.American Journal of Viticulture and Enology, 63:538-543.
  • Gutha, L.R., L.F. Casassa, J.F. Harbertson, and R. A. Naidu (2010). Modulation of flavonoid biosynthetic pathway genes and anthocyanins due to virus infection in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) leaves. BMC Plant Biology, 10:1-18.
  • CasassaL.F., S. Sari, S. Avagnina, V. Longone, C. Césari, G. Escoriaza, C.D. Catania and M. Gatica (2010). Effects of “Hoja de Malvón” disease on the composition, sensory properties and preference of Malbec wines. International Journal of Wine Research, 1:63–73.

Related Content