Washington State’s Wine Research Program releases annual report and video series

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                        

SEATTLE (February 15, 2018) – Wine research initiatives take the stage in a series of videos created for the Washington State Wine Commission. Along with the recently released 2017 Research Annual Report, the video series shares the importance and value of wine research to the state’s wine industry. Moreover, they showcase the industry’s commitment and support of research that ultimately seeks to improve wine quality.

The videos trace the history of Washington’s premium wine industry from its roots with Dr. Walter Clore, a Washington State University scientist who laid the foundation for viticulture and enology research more than 80 years ago, to the innovative techniques utilized by today’s growers and winemakers. They depict scientists working in research vineyards at WSU’s Prosser research station, the crush of research project grapes at WSU’s Wine Science Center, and highlight the recent growth of the wine industry and recognition of Washington’s high-quality wine.

The three short research videos made their debut during the statewide wine grape convention in Kennewick in early February. Produced by This Is It Video, they will be shared through social media and other means to reach the wine trade, state and federal government officials and consumers.

The research annual report provides accomplishments from the second year of the Wine Commission’s amplified research program. The emphasis in 2017 was to increase industry engagement in the research program. A major marker of success was the nearly doubled attendance at the second annual WAVE (Washington Advancements in Viticulture and Enology) research seminar. Sponsored by the Wine Commission and the wine industry’s research partner WSU, WAVE has quickly become Washington wine industry’s signature research event. The research symposium was so popular that a condensed version—WAVEx—was initiated last year, with WAVEx seminars held in Woodinville and Walla Walla.

Industry participation in the second comprehensive industry survey, administered to seek input for research priorities, increased more than 10 percent over the 2016 survey. The Wine Commission used editorial outreach to help share outcomes from industry-supported research, and invited growers and winemakers to hear firsthand from researchers presenting reports and pitching new research proposals at the annual Washington State Wine Research Review. The Wine Research Advisory Committee, a subcommittee of the Wine Commission that serves as the industry scientific review arm for research, also expanded their membership in 2017.

Other research program accomplishments include more than 35 research reports archived on the Wine Commission’s re-designed website, the launch of a quarterly research newsletter called the WAVE Report, and the launch WAVE Minute, a weekly radio program of research news.

The amped up research program is guided by well-defined goals and objectives contained in a strategic research plan, a report developed for the Wine Commission with broad industry involvement. The plan will be the roadmap for the research program for years to come.

The Wine Commission’s research program is one the few in the nation funded by all wine grape growers and wineries in the state. The program is:

    • Industry driven – research priorities are established by growers and winemakers.
    • Industry guided –  funding recommendations are approved by industry.
    • Results are available to all winemakers and growers regardless of size.

The program’s over-arching goal is to provide science-based tools so that every winemaker in Washington can make better wine and every wine grape grower can grow better grapes. Investments in research by Washington’s wine industry, including its $7.4 million pledge to help build WSU’s Wine Science Center in Richland, will help drive the industry’s continued health and long-term growth.

Visit the Washington State Wine website to learn more and download:

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.