Published in Tri-City Herald
By Melissa Hansen, Washington State Wine Commission
March 22, 2016
Winemaking is art and science. Thanks to research supported by Washington State’s wine industry, growers use an array of science-based tools that help conserve irrigation water and practice integrated pest management (IPM) to control pests. Meanwhile, winemakers use other tools to continue to produce some of the highest quality wines in the world.
Research is a growing focus of Washington State Wine, the research and marketing arm for the state’s grape growers and wineries. Nearly a quarter of the state wine agency’s $5 million budget will be spent on viticulture and enology research in 2016, including its pledge to fund a portion of the construction of the new wine science facility at the
Washington State University Tri-Cities campus.
The state’s wine industry significantly stepped up its research commitment when it dedicated $7.4 million to help build the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center. The $23 million facility, with classrooms, laboratories and research winery, is outfitted with some of the most technologically advanced equipment available.
The sizable industry investment, paid through assessments from the state’s grape growers and vintners, is a major component of the industry’s efforts to build a world-class research program.
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