The Washington wine industry, through the Washington State Wine Commission, significantly ramped up its wine research program in 2015, with the goal of making it world-class. Five years into the investment, it’s well on its way. Key milestones include the opening of the Washington State University Wine Science Center, sustainably funding more than $1 million in research projects annually, and the creation of the industry’s own research grant program.
Two committees of industry volunteers dedicate their time to ensure the research outcomes and results are easily accessible to growers and wineries. This has been achieved in a variety of ways:
- To date, 130 research articles and news releases written for trade magazines, newspapers, newsletters and other media.
- More than 70 research reports archived on the Wine Commission’s website, accessible to all.
- Nearly 265 WAVE Minutes aired on Pacific Northwest AgNet (610 AM). (WAVE Minute, sponsored by the Wine Commission, is a weekly radio program featuring research news and interviews with scientists.)
Another big priority is to foster a research mindset within the industry, in part by growing participation in annual research reviews and WAVE (Washington Advancements in Viticulture and Enology) research seminars and webinars. WAVE and the condensed WAVEx seminars are jointly sponsored by WSU and the Wine Commission and have become the industry’s signature research events. More than 1,400 wine industry members attended 17 seminars and webinars by the end of 2020.