The Winkler Vine is the single large vine that is growing south of Poultry on the west side of Hopkins Road. It was planted in 1979, and named in honor of the late Albert J. Winkler, Chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology from 1935-1957. It is the varietal Mission - the first to be cultivated in California - grafted onto St. George rootstock. The huge vine is supported by a metal frame high enough to walk under. As such, the grassy area under the vine is occasionally used for social gatherings. Early in its life, a tractor damaged a portion of the trunk, leaving a huge canker that took years to heal. A replacement vine was dedicated in 2001 to Dr. Harold P. Olmo, and a new structure erected next to the current one. Unfortunately, at a recent Dinner under the Winkler Vine, a caterer mistakenly placed a hot lid from a chafing dish against the trunk of the replacement vine, damaging it and continuing the tragic cycle.
Prof. Muhammad Marrush believes (PLB 001), the current one is dying a slow death because the powers that be insisted on planting grass too close to the trunk. While that may be true to a certain extent, the vine has contracted Eutypa, a pruning disease that damages permanent grapevine wood, and eventually kill the vine. To slow this process as much as possible, the vine has been prevented from carrying a crop for some time.
In the Spring of 2008, the "Olmo" vine - planted in 2001 - was replaced with another Mission/St. George plant. At the same time, four more identical grafts were planted around the trunk of the Winkler Vine, in the hopes of spiraling the trunks together and replacing their massive predecessor.