The Wine Research Advisory Committee, established in 1981 through legislation, is the scientific review arm for the Washington wine industry and responsible for making research funding recommendations. WRAC is a subcommittee of the Washington State Wine Commission.
The mission of the Wine Research Advisory Committee, on behalf of the Washington wine industry, is to set priorities for scientific research, review proposals, recommend funding, and support research activities.
Appointment of Members
WRAC seeks broad geographic representation for its membership.
In filling vacancies, the WSWC will partner with all concerned industry groups to disseminate application information. Candidates should submit applications to the WRAC Chair for review by WRAC. Before forwarding a nomination to the WSWC for appointment, two-thirds of the WRAC must agree on the nomination.
- Educational background – a minimum of BS degree (e.g. viticulture, enology, chemistry, biology) is suggested
- Analytical thinker and highly interested in research
- Minimum of three to five years in the Washington wine industry and professionally associated with the Washington wine industry
- Willing to commit required time to review proposals, meet with researchers and attend WRAC meetings
- Willing to commit minimum three years to serve as WRAC member
- Be a resident of Washington State
WRAC strives for appropriate balance of member disciplines in alignment with research priorities.
- Currently, there are 11 members. The number of members will be reviewed annually and adjusted according to the needs and growth of the industry.
- At least one non-voting member will be the director (and/or designee) of WSU’s Agriculture Research Center.
- The Committee will elect officers of chair and vice-chair each year during the annual meeting. Annual meetings are held near the near the end/beginning of new fiscal years (FY July 1 – June 30).
- Each committee member will submit annual letters of commitment no later than the annual meeting.
- A member of the WSWC’s Research Committee, preferably the Chair, will hold one voting seat on WRAC.
- It is a responsibility of WRAC members who serve on other wine association boards (e.g. WA Winegrowers, WA Wine Technical Group, WA Wine Industry Foundation, regional wine organizations) to share WRAC information and activities with such groups to help facilitate transparency and encourage open communication.
- In the event that a member is not fulfilling his or her WRAC obligations, the Chair will initiate a three-step process:
- Documented, and agreed to, plan for improvement, and
- As a last resort, the Chair will bring the matter to the Committee for a vote for removal, a step requiring a majority vote.
- All members represent the industry and serve at the discretion of the WSWC.
- To remove a committee member, two-thirds of the WRAC must agree, before approval is sought from the WSWC.
- Minutes of meetings will be taken by the WSWC Research Program Manager and distributed to WRAC no later than 10 days following the meeting date.
Expenses (hotel, mileage, meals, and incidentals) incurred for meeting attendance can be reimbursed by the WSWC, according to Washington State Office of Financial Management, Travel Regulations.
A calendar of dates, deadlines, and meetings will be approved annually by WRAC and published on the WSWC’s web site.
Existing Annual WRAC Milestones:
- Set research priorities.
- Seek priority setting input from industry and research community through survey.
- Administer industry survey, summarize results and report back to the industry.
- Finalize research priorities.
- Issue RFPs (request for proposals).
- Chair assigns leads for all projects and balances member work load as necessary.
- Research Program Manager follows up with researchers to ensure they know their Lead.
- Ongoing communications between Leads and researchers are encouraged, with mid-term Lead reports shared with WRAC and tracked by Research Program Manager.
- Review progress reports.
- Review new proposals.
- Finalize funding recommendations.
- Present funding recommendations to WSWC for approval.
Current funding sources for viticulture and enology research come from:
- WSWC (24%)
- Auction of WA Wines (23%)
- Liter tax on all wines sold in Washington (28%)
- WSU – Agriculture Research Center (25%)
Revised by the Wine Research Advisory Committee on June 23, 2017.
Approved by the Washington State Wine Commission Board on May 13, 2016.