Built in a sagebrush landscape along the mighty Columbia River in the heart of Washington wine country, the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center is a hub for innovation, education, and collaboration.

Building the Future

Washington’s wine industry took a major step toward creating a world class research program when it committed $9.4 million—paid through grower and winery assessments—to help construct a portion of Washington State University’s Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Wine Science Center at the WSU Tri-Cities campus in Richland. The $23 million Wine Science Center, located in the heart of Washington wine country, represents the industry’s focus on its future. The 40,000 square foot teaching and research facility contains some of the most advanced technologies and equipment to provide students and scientists with the tools needed to solve viticulture and enology challenges specific to Washington growing conditions. A teaching vineyard is also part of the center.

Viticulture and enology research is part of our DNA.
Dick Boushey, Grandview, Wine Grape Grower

Research focus areas to improve Washington’s premium wines include topics such as:

  • Identifying locations, sites and cultivars for new vineyards;
  • Improving vineyard and winery management practices;
  • Managing or eradicating grapevine viruses;
  • Optimizing wine flavor profiles for distinctive Washington wines.
A young woman wearing a red WSU shirt holds a glass with red wine up to eye level and examines it. A man standing next to her wearing a black vest also looks at the glass. The background is a busy lab with tubes and other students.

Unparalleled Innovation

The teaching, research, and extension facility is among the most technologically advanced wine research and education facilities of its kind in the world, transforming the Washington wine industry with cutting-edge science in the tradition of its forefathers, Dr. Walter Clore and Dr. Charles Nagel, WSU researchers. The 40,000-square-foot facility includes an open atrium with a wine library, research and teaching laboratories and winery, and classrooms and meeting spaces. The $23 million building features high-tech equipment and is home to faculty and researchers who are educating future wine industry leaders and rolling out research that improves the grape-growing and winemaking processes.

“The Washington wine industry’s research program has been a huge benefit for our wine industry and given us both national and international credibility.”
Rick Hamman, Benton City, Viticulturist

The WSU Viticulture & Enology (V&E) Program is a comprehensive education and research program that prepares students for successful careers in the wine industry and supports the region’s winemakers and grape growers. Enhanced by renowned faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, the V&E Program takes a hands-on, multidisciplinary approach, offering students technical, scientific, and practical experience.

Four people in black graduation robes, black graduation hats, and red collars smile at the camera in front of a crowded auditorium.

To see more about the Wine Science Center and WSU’s Viticulture and Enology Program, head over to WSU Wine Science Center website at http://wine.wsu.edu.