Washington’s wine industry took a major step in creating a world class research program when it committed $7.4 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 the state’s eastern wine regions, 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 tools needed to solve viticulture and enology challenges specific to Washington growing conditions. A teaching vineyard is also part of the center.
Research focus areas to improve Washington’s premium wines include topics such as:
- Help identify locations, sites and cultivars for new vineyards
- Improve vineyard and winery management practices
- Manage or eradicate grapevine virus
- Optimize wine flavor profiles for distinctive Washington wines