Research program cracks $1 million in awards
Industry-funded research has positive economic impact for Washington’s wine industry
SEATTLE (March 30, 2017) – The Washington State Wine Commission recommended more than $1 million dollars of viticulture and enology research funding for 2017-18 as part of the statewide wine research grant program administered by Washington State University. It’s a record amount dedicated to viticulture and enology research grant awards in Washington and will addresses vineyard and winery challenges and ultimately improve wine quality.
The increase in this year’s nearly $1,053,000 program budget—up 20 percent from last year’s $869,500—will fund 18 viticulture and enology research projects that deal with vineyard issues, such as grapevine viruses and their vectors, vineyard health impacts from soil and water quality (salinity and sodicity), irrigation water savings and efficiencies and new spray application technologies. Enology topics include tannin management, wine quality impacts from vineyard mechanization, wine spoilage and native yeast characteristics.
Research is funded through the Washington State Grape and Wine Research Program, a unique partnership that combines industry, private, and state funding from the Washington State Wine Commission, Auction of Washington Wines, WSU’s Agriculture Research Center and state liter taxes collected on all wines sold in Washington. The Auction’s 2017 contribution of $278,000—nearly $80,000 more than last year—significantly boosted the research program’s funding.
The increased research program funding translates into eight new research projects, says Rick Hamman of Hogue Ranches in Prosser. “The extra dollars coming from the Auction of Washington Wines and industry through the Wine Commission will help fund new research on powdery mildew fungicide resistance and crown gall incidence, new mite species in eastern Washington, impact of pH on wine microbial ecology and sensory characteristics of Washington wines, and more,” said Hamman, who chairs the Wine Commission’s Wine Research Advisory Committee, a subcommittee that annually reviews research proposals and makes funding recommendations. “Previous research outcomes have made significant industry impact and benefit everyone connected to the Washington wine industry.”
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About Washington State Wine
Washington State Wine represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington State. Guided by an appointed board, the mission of the WSW is to raise positive awareness and demand for Washington State wine through marketing and education while supporting viticulture and enology research to drive industry growth. Funded almost entirely by the industry through assessments based on grape and wine sales, the WSW is a state government agency, established by the legislature in 1987. To learn more, visit www.washingtonwine.org.