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WAVEx smoke exposure seminar a success

Participants in classroom drink wine samples from glasses.
Participants at recent WAVEx smoke exposure seminar, WSU Tri-Cities campus.

As summer approaches with its promise of plentiful crops and scenic vineyards, so too does the threat of wildfire, prompting many of Washington’s wine grape growers to learn more about how wildfire smoke can potentially “taint” grape harvests.

Judging by the large crowd at the recent “Smoke Exposure” WAVEx seminar, the topic of smoke exposure is drawing the attention of industry insiders as well. The one-day course was led by Tom Collins, WSU wine chemist, and one of the nation’s foremost experts on smoke exposure.

Other presenters included WSU graduate students and area winemakers. Melissa Hansen, Research Program Director for the Washington State Wine Commission, coordinated the event and delivered the opening remarks.

WAVEx is a condensed WSU Extension version of the Washington Advancements in Viticulture and Enology (WAVE) program.

“The Smoke Exposure seminar had a strong turnout and we even had participation from out of state industry members,” Hansen said. The heightened interest and interstate participation, she added, “speaks to the research expertise of WSU’s Dr. Tom Collins and his smoke exposure research program.”

Hansen also noted that based on the feedback she received from a seminar questionnaire, “the event was extremely useful, valuable and the audience learned something they can apply to their own operations.” The information participants took away from the WAVEx seminar will go a long way in helping to improve the quality of Washington’s wine.

This research was funded by Washington State University, Auction of Washington Wines, and all of Washington’s wine grape growers and wineries through the Washington State Wine Commission.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Collins, clinical assistant professor, WSU Tri-Cities,