The Washington Wine Industry Foundation’s most recent gift to expand the research and teaching vineyard at the WSU TriCities campus, along with their many years of support of research and extension, was recognized by the WSU Foundation with a “Benefactor” plaque.
Washington’s wine industry will become even more competitive and continue to grow as an economic driver for the state, thanks to a $1 million investment from Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and its parent company, Altria Group, Inc., to support wine science programs at Washington State University.
The grant, which was announced Wednesday at the 2012 annual meeting of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers, will support the Washington State University Viticulture and Enology program, particularly the research efforts that drive innovations and technology to ensure Washington wines remain economically, competitive, environmentally sustainable and of distinct, premium quality.
By generously supporting the Wine Science Center at Washington State University, the Mercer family is helping to prepare WSU-trained enologists and viticulturists to lead the state’s globally competitive wine industry. “We believe in WSU, and in the ability of WSU students to lead us to a brighter and better future, says Robert Mercer (’91 Political Science) whose Prosser-area farming operation, Mercer Canyons, Inc., includes wine grapes planted in 1972. He and his wife Brenda (’90 Business Administration) hope that WSU remains a strong presence in the industry and in their family.
Washington State University President Elson S. Floyd delivered an in-person thank you to Washington grape growers and wine makers this afternoon for their $7.4 million commitment to support a new WSU Wine Science Center facility; he also reaffirmed the university’s long-term commitment to viticulture and enology education and research.
On August 18, the Washington State Wine Commission formally committed $7.4 million to support construction of the Wine Science Center at the Washington State University Tri-Cities campus in Richland, Washington. These funds will be generated through assessments levied on grape and wine production beginning with the 2011 harvest, and the Commission estimates that it will collect this $7.4 million total over approximately the next ten years.
Northwest Farm Credit Services Offers Significant Boost
By Investing $500,000 in WSU’s wine and tree fruit research and education programs, Northwest Farm Credit Services is preparing to bolster the long-term success of many of its customers.
During the next five years, half of the donation will help fund programs at WSU’s proposed Wine Science Center facility located adjacent to the WSU Tri-Cities Campus in Richland. The other half will help fund two new field laboratories at WSU’s Sunrise Research Orchard outside of Wenatchee.
As the first privately-owned winery to make a leadership gift to the Wine Science Center at WSU Tri-Cities, Hedges Family Estate accelerates the development of a WSU-educated workforce for the state’s wine industry. The Center will be a model facility for instruction and research, as well as a destination for international trade teams, researchers and wine conferences.