Extension News from the West

Nikki Johanson, Pheasant Fields Farm, Silverdale,

Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 5:42pm

Our success in farming can most all be attributed to the many services we have found through WSU extension services here in Kitsap, as well as Jefferson, Clallum, Thurston, Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties.

Elson Floyd came to Bremerton a few years ago to visit WSU Kitsap Extension on their anniversary. It was an event I will never forget. I really felt honored to get to meet him. What an eloquent and intelligent man as well as a great speaker. I am saddened with the news of his passing. I am thankful for having the opportunity to meet this great man.

It will be a very difficult job to select a candidate for his position. I don’t believe one could replace Elson Floyd. My deepest respects are for his family and all the extended WSU families.

— Nikki Johanson, Pheasant Fields Farm, Silverdale,

Kim Kidwell, CAHNRS Executive Associate Dean

Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 5:40pm
The new Visual Merchandising Studio at AMDT’s new home in Johnson Hall.

President Floyd was instrumental in landing the Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles on the radar screen to move into an improved space. He was involved in discussions about several location options, and made the original verbal commitment to AMDT that they would indeed be moved.

The budget crisis altered the original plan, and CAHNRS stepped up in partnership with the provost and the president to fund their transition into the Johnson Hall Annex.

I consider his commitment to initiating the project to be instrumental in the eventual move. Without his support, we couldn’t have made it happen.

— Kim Kidwell, CAHNRS Executive Associate Dean

Debbie Christel, Assistant Professor, Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles

Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 5:37pm

Linda Arthur, AMDT professor, and Deborah Christel, then an apparel design student, today an AMDT assistant professor, work on the stole for President Elson Floyd.As an undergraduate senior, it was such an honor to work on President Floyd’s stole project, with Dr. Linda Bradley. I remember him being very passionate about this project and really wanting to wear a garment that included a representation of all the diverse cultures at WSU. He was so interested in how textile traditions represented the diverse ethnic groups at WSU and wanted to make sure everything was just right.

President Floyd really understood the importance of our field, and that was really meaningful to me. To this day, I’ve never met a university president who genuinely cared so much about honoring diversity, and to be able to do that through cultural textiles was really special to me as a design student.

Meeting and working with him was a highlight of my undergraduate career at WSU. President Floyd was warmhearted, kind, brilliant and will always be remembered in my heart as WSU’s trailblazer in honoring our ethnic diversity. Because of President Floyd and this project, I have, and I think others do too, such a deep appreciation and understanding of how diverse WSU is.

— Debbie Christel, Assistant Professor, Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles

Linda Arthur Bradley, Professor, Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles

Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 5:30pm
President Floyd, center, wears his new regalia in 2007, created by Linda Arthur Bradley, far left. Also pictured are Willemina Kardong, Director of Presidential Events, and Karen K. Leonas, former AMDT department chair.

President Floyd’s first convocation was in August 2007, right after he arrived. The faculty were there in our own regalia. It’s a very colorful moment — we all wear the colors of our own institutions. Dr. Floyd shows up, and he’s wearing a plain black robe. He goes down the row, and he sees me — I have my name tag that says ‘AMDT’ — and he says, ‘Oh, I need your help with the regalia.” I said, ‘Yeah, I agree with you.” He says, “Let’s work together on that.” He came back to me again and again that day. He’d have an idea, and he’d come back. During that convocation, we agreed: I would design a stole for him using fabrics from ethnic groups that were significant in the state. We basically designed it while he was walking back and forth.

For the next four months, I worked on it several hours a day. We went all over the state, collecting textiles from different groups. It was important to have the Nez Perce tribe in, we were on their land. We added hand-woven Salish fabric, Hawaiian hand appliqué, textiles from Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Oceania, Africa, India, Japan and China. A coverlet weave represented the American colonial past.

Dr. Floyd and I were involved in it continually. It was a lot of work. But it was a wonderful thing. And at the same time that we were working on the stole, we were designing his grown. We designed a red one and a gray one. The gray one, he took with him when he traveled. He loved the red one, because he lit up in it. It looked so good on him.

In her senior year, Debbie Christel was in one of my classes. I asked her to help, and she fell in love with research. I think that’s what fired her up to go to grad school and become a professor, and we were lucky enough to hire her last year. This stole started her on her career.

Dr. Floyd was really good at working collaboratively. He would say, “What do you want to do? What do you think?” We created the regalia together, and he was really good at supporting me. I really liked him. Whenever I saw him, he remembered me. He always remembered who I was.

— Linda Arthur Bradley, Professor, Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles

Chuck Eggert, Founder, Pacific Foods

Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 5:25pm

I always told President Floyd that he had missed his true calling, he should have been an evangelist. I never heard him speak where I did not come away in awe of his ability to speak passionately about his beliefs, the University and a vision of where he was going. He respected the land grant university model and the corresponding need to help rural americans. This showed in his support for making sure WSU agriculture was the cornerstone of the university.

It is hard to imagine a better president for Washington State University.

— Chuck Eggert, Founder, Pacific Foods

Chad Kruger, Director, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources

Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 5:19pm

Here are just two of the occasions when President Floyd’s support was crucial to the success of CSANR (WSU’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources).

He emphatically supported the establishment of the BIOAg Grant Program as part of the legislative Unified Ag Initiative. This program has been critical to CSANR affiliate faculty success in several federal competitive grant programs, including USDA’s Organic Research & Extension Initiative, Organic Transitions Program, Specialty Crop Research Initiative, Climate Change Challenge Area, and Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Extension Program.

President Floyd was also hugely supportive of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation funded Climate Friendly Farming Project. He kept up to date on the project, provided excellent advice and kept our work at the forefront of his interactions with Mr. Allen as the flagship donation to WSU prior to the gift for the School for Global Animal Health.

— Chad Kruger, Director, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources

Tesia Lingenfelter (‘15), WSU 530 Slide Recovery Intern

Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 5:11pm

It was a sad day for Cougar Nation, today. Let’s all remember and be thankful for all the work President Floyd did for us, including helping start and fund this internship for us last year.

The work going to the 530 Slide Recovery Effort was very heavily supported by President Floyd, and he made sure we were all taken care of, and that we all knew our University had our back during one of the most trying times for our hometown.

RIP, President Floyd, and thank you.

— Tesia Lingenfelter (‘15), WSU 530 Slide Recovery Intern

Sylvia Kantor, CAHNRS Communications, SR530 Recovery Team Member

Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 5:06pm

I first met Dr. Floyd in person at the Oso General Store ahead of his first viewing of the aftermath of the SR 530 landslide. I’ll never forget that day or the compassion he showed to the impacted communities with his gestures, both large and small.

His immediate pledge of support in the form tuition waivers and later in the WSU recovery efforts he supported meant so much to the people of Arlington and Darrington.

He made us all proud to be Cougs with his leadership, kindness, and humanity.

—Sylvia Kantor, CAHNRS Communications, SR530 Recovery Team Member

John Stark, Director, WSU Puyallup REC

Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 5:01pm

President Floyd held a dedication ceremony at WSU Puyallup for the Stormwater Low Impact Development Research and Demonstration Center in 2011.

This was really important to us because it has become a premier program at our Center and to have the President involved was amazing.

— John Stark, Director, WSU Puyallup REC

 

Emily Gatch, WSU Mount Vernon Research and Extension Unit

Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 4:58pm

WSU Mount Vernon NWREC graduate student Emily Gatch discusses her research on Fusarium wilt and Verticillium wilt in spinach seed crops, as WSU President Elson Floyd looks on.

Photo courtesy Skagit Valley Herald

Laura Griner Hill, chair, Department of Human Development

Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 4:33pm

“I think the transfer of the WSU Children’s Center (into the Department of Human Development) provides a great example of President Floyd’s significant commitment to student and faculty welfare, as many of the parents of children at the center are WSU students and faculty.

The president felt that situating the center in an academic unit would help to grow the Children’s Center in multiple ways, and to continue increasing the already high quality of the center while maintaining low costs. He also believed it would provide additional opportunities for early childhood education students to get training opportunities and for the staff to have increased opportunities for professional development.

President Floyd initiated this move and it is consistent with his belief in the importance of education all along the spectrum, starting with early childhood through university students to professionals in the workplace.

— Laura Griner Hill, chair, Department of Human Development

Russ Salvadalena, manager, WSU Creamery

Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 3:47pm

“Each holiday season, President Floyd sent cans of cheese to key alumni and donors — about 200 cans each year.

Dr. Floyd LOVED our huckleberry-flavored grabbers (two cookies with ice cream in between). At each home football game, he wanted at least 24 of the 96 grabbers to be huckleberry-flavored. These were delivered to the President’s Box in the football stadium.

When Ferdinand’s celebrated our 60th year anniversary, Dr. Floyd was gracious enough to attend the ceremonies, and he spoke about the wide range of clientele that we were able to connect with the university.”

— Russ Salvadalena, manager, WSU Creamery

Voice of the Vine: remembering President Floyd, wild yeast wines, Wine Science Center opens, fun events for good causes, Cheers! (June 2015)

Washington State University Extension News - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 10:46am
In loving memory WSU President Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D March 1, 1956 – June 20, 2015

Let me emphasize our long-term commitment to supporting the Washington wine industry from vineyard to glass with the very best teaching, research and extension we have to offer. Together, we have made great strides in building one of the premiere viticulture and enology programs in the nation.

- President Elson S. Floyd

Dr. Elson Floyd was a true champion of the Washington State wine industry. He understood our agricultural history, witnessed the explosive growth of our industry and wanted to ensure a solid, bright future for Washington State wine. We were very lucky to call him both colleague and friend. His charisma, enthusiasm and quest for knowledge will live on through the generations of students who pass through the Wine Science Center.

- Steve Warner, president, Washington State Wine

To honor President Floyd and the positive impacts he has had on grape and wine research and education, we are seeking your input. 

>>Please share your stories, anecdotes, quotes, and pictures using our website form.

Harnessing wild yeasts to produce refined wines

Wine comes from grapes, but the alcohol comes from yeast. Most wine is made by fermenting grapes with specifically chosen species of yeast, leading to predictable wines for vintners.

But wild yeasts grow naturally on grapes, and researchers at Washington State University are looking to find what impact those wild yeasts have on the finished product.

WSU graduate student Xuefei Wang picks out a frozen sample to examine for different species of wild yeast.

“Winemaking is more sorcery than science,” said Dean Glawe, a WSU plant pathology professor. “Part of what makes particular wines special is what’s growing on the grapes.”

“We know that grapes from some vineyards make better wines,” said Glawe, who is working with plant pathology and food science colleagues on this project. “One possibility is that yeasts in those vineyards are unusual – so we want to find them.”

Wild, rich, complex

The team has found 55 species of yeast – including a new one – on grapes from around the state. That’s more than have been found anywhere in the world, though Glawe said that is possibly because his team is looking more closely than anyone else.

A few wineries around the state produce batches of wine that rely on natural fermentation from wild yeasts – they don’t add yeasts during fermentation.

“I have discovered that the wines wild yeasts create are richer and more complex,” said Flint Nelson, winemaker at Kestrel Vintners in Prosser, Wash.

“Of course there are some risks associated from wild ferments,” he added. “You don’t know what you’re getting. There is a possibility of the native yeasts developing unpleasant aromas and flavors in the wine, and there is an even greater risk of the native yeast being unable to ferment the juice to dryness.”

Kestrel has sold a special bottling of Wild Yeast Chardonnay for several years, and Nelson said customers have always responded to it positively.

Yeast genetics

The goal for the WSU research, however, is to reduce some of the risks Nelson mentioned.

WSU graduate student Xuefei Wang looks at wild yeast in a microscope to determine the species found on vineyard grapes.

Pat Okubara, plant research geneticist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and WSU adjunct professor, said the team plans to sample the frequency of each type of yeast on grapes to learn how each species ties into good or poor wine quality.“It’s essential for the future of natural fermentation to make consistently good wines,” Glawe said. “Research can really help with this. We can show what’s happening in the vat, barrel and bottle, so winemakers can spot things going wrong before they happen.”

Also, “we’re looking at the genetics of specific yeasts, both on grapes and in fermentations,” said Okubara, who will take over as lead for this research when Glawe retires later this month. “Our graduate student Xuefei Wang will then look at strains that we think make good quality wines.”

Pathology and chemistry

They haven’t published any results concerning wine yet, but they have discovered a new species of yeast in Washington vineyards, and they have published some of their early survey work.

And for greater impact, the scientists are hoping to work more with the wine industry.

“The plant pathologist’s view of making wine is, we’re rotting grapes,” Glawe said. “It’s a powerful combination to work with winemakers, who are more like chemists. We’re all learning from each other to help increase wild fermentation in the state.”

- Scott Weybright

WSU opens new Ste. Michelle Wine Science Center The sign atop the new Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center is unveiled.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University dedicated its new wine science center Thursday, June 4, and announced that the center will bear the name of its top supporter.

“For more than 25 years, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates has supported the WSU wine program with their own contributions as well as shepherding support from others,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. “In recognition of their outstanding commitment and contributions, I am pleased to announce the center will be named the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center.”

Theodor (Ted) Baseler, president and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates who also served as chair of WSU’s Wine Campaign, said the company understands the direct correlation between the most successful wine regions of the world and proximity to higher education institutions conducting wine science.

CAHNRS Dean Ron Mittlehammer speaks to the crowd at the Wine Science Center opening June 4.

“We have always recognized the importance of a vibrant wine industry in the Pacific Northwest, and quality education is a key component,” he said. Over the past several years, the company has established an endowed professorship in viticulture, supported the endowed chair of the director of the Viticulture and Enology Program, and raised more than $40,000 per year for student scholarships.

“Our support will continue,” Baseler added. “Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is pledging an additional gift of $500,000 to directly support the Wine Science Center.” The gift completed the fundraising for the construction of the building.

He also noted that the Wine Science Center, which is located on the WSU Tri-Cities campus, is a culmination of industry support that reached broadly across the Washington wine community. “This industry made an early statement by initiating a $7.4 million gift through the Washington State Wine Commission.”

Provost Dan Bernardo, center, pops a celebratory cork with WSU Regent Mike Worthy. At right is Regent Lura Powell.

Steve Warner, president of the Washington State Wine Commission, agreed. “Through the Washington State Wine Commission, every grower and winemaker in the state is contributing to the Wine Science Center—a true vote of confidence in the future of research and education at WSU.”

In addition to private support, the $23-million Wine Science Center project was funded with $4.95 million from the state and a $2.06-million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. It is built on land donated by the Port of Benton in Richland.

Ron Mittelhammer, dean of WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, emphasized the importance of the institution’s close partnership with the wine industry. “Our goal is to continue building a program that is informed by and mirrors the excellence of the Washington wine industry,” he said.

Keith Moo-Young, chancellor at WSU Tri-Cities, noted the strategic location of the new center and its benefits to the state’s economy.

Associate Professor of Enology Jim Harbertson shows new equipment to visitors at the new Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center.

“The Wine Science Center is a boon to our campus, community and the Washington wine industry,” he said. “This center supports a critical industry in our state, and to have it strategically located here in the heart of wine country further demonstrates our role—as a land-grant university—to foster economic prosperity.”

The new teaching and research facility, considered one of the most technologically advanced wine science centers in the world, features research laboratories and classrooms, a research and teaching winery, a two-acre vineyard, and greenhouses to train technical personnel to support Washington’s large and expanding wine industry. It includes meeting and event space with a large atrium, Washington wine library and conference rooms. Industry members, students and researchers from around the globe are invited to use the center as a gathering place to spark innovation, fuel economic development and support local, regional, national and international collaboration and provide a catalyst for research breakthroughs.

Washington is the second largest premium wine producer in the United States.

>>View the WSU Tri-Cities Flickr album of  Wine Science Center grand opening photos.

>>Learn more about the Viticulture and Enology Program at WSU.

- Matt Haugen, Erika Holmes, Seth Truscott

State-of-the-art Wine Science Center supports industry

Through research and education, the newly opened Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center supports Washington’s expanding wine industry.

Washington has over 850 wineries, 50,000 acres of wine grapes and 24,000 acres of juice grapes. The state is the second largest premium wine producer in the United States, generating more than $4.8 billion annually.

To continue solving problems and improving this important industry, the Wine Science Center opened Thursday, June 4, 2015, on the Washington State University Tri-Cities campus in Richland. The center gives wine professionals the technical know-how to meet industry needs with a research and teaching winery, laboratories, classrooms and meeting spaces.

Refining grapes and minds

ALSC Architects designed the 40,000-square-foot Wine Science Center following a “rough-to-refined” concept that is evident throughout the building. The facility concept represents raw, or “rough,” grapes entering the research winery and transforming into premium Washington wine. It also represents the refining of students’ minds as they learn and gain experience through the Viticulture and Enology Program.

Julie Pittsinger, WSU enology certificate alumna and owner of KARMA Vineyards in Chelan, and winemaker Craig Mitrakul pouring their commemorative Wine Science Center grand opening sparking wines. Available in Brut and Brut Rosé, you can purchase these limited edition wines at the Brelsford Visitors Center in Pullman or by contacting Debbie Schwenson at 509-372-7224.

Julie Pittsinger, who earned an enology certificate from WSU and now operates KARMA Vineyards in Chelan, Wash., helped celebrate the center’s grand opening with two commemorative sparkling wines. She poured them with KARMA winemaker Craig Mitrakul, who studied with WSU Viticulture and Enology Director Thomas Henick-Kling when he led the wine science program at Cornell University in New York. These limited-edition Brut and Brut Rosé sparkling wines can be purchased at the Brelsford WSU Visitors Center in Pullman or by contacting Debbie Schwenson at 509-372-7224.

The rough-to-refined concept is repeated in the Columbia Center Rotary Charity Garden behind the center. The plants are arranged roughly, resembling a wild landscape, transitioning to deliberately like a manicured garden, representing WSU’s pioneering contributions to Washington agriculture and the wine industry.

Horticulture instructor Gretchen Graber, along with Henick-Kling, Bruce Schwan with SCM Engineering and Gamache Landscaping designed this two-acre garden with sustainability in mind. Of the 600 plants featured, 80 percent are native to the Columbia Basin’s natural shrub-steppe habitat, providing an example of the ingredients—climate, soil, plants and insects—that make up southeastern Washington’s unique landscape and premium wine. (View photos of the Columbia Center Charity Garden planting party held April 11, 2015.)

Fundraising fruition

“I look around, and I see the fruits of a long journey,” said Casey Fox, director of development for wine sciences in the Viticulture and Enology Program, at the grand opening.

The state’s Wine Commission and wine industry, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, and dozens of private donors helped bring the Wine Science Center to fruition over a 15-year period.

“The industry has been extremely receptive to this project,” Fox said. “They understand the research that has been done, and the possibilities of what can be achieved with state-of-the-art facilities. They get a direct benefit from the research that will go on here.”

To date, $21.5 million has been fundraised for the center’s construction. About $1.5 million is still needed.

“The building is done,” Fox said. “The rest is equipment. We’re still working, and we have some great partners. By the end of summer, we’re hopeful we will be done.”

Deborah Barnard with her glass art installation recognizing donors who helped make the WSU Wine Science Center a reality.

Donors to the center are recognized in a unique glass art installation by Deborah Barnard, owner of Db Studio at Barnard Griffin Winery. The glass panels etched with donor names are hung in the center’s atrium, which has a curved wall with metal beams to resemble a wine barrel.

The donor wall also presents views a wine scientist might see under a microscope, such as yeast cells, molds, crystals or bacteria. The microscope “slides,” infused with reactive glasses to create shading and depth, are overlaid with clear glass framed in oak with donors’ names embossed in black glass powder. All materials used were made in the Pacific Northwest.

Limitless potential

For Jim Harbertson, associate professor of enology, the potential of a new research laboratories at the Wine Science Center is limitless.

Touring the Ron and Ann Morford Wine Chemistry Instrument Room with its namesake donors during the center’s grand opening, Harbertson explained the sophisticated wine chemistry and spectrometry that will soon happen here.

The Wine Chemistry Instrument Room has a split-bench design for easy access to maintain the equipment, and gas canisters are stored safely in hallway closets.

Once it’s stocked with equipment, he’ll share the lab with other researchers and PhD students. They plan to get right to work exploring ways to improve Washington wine.

“We want to make the best science in collaboration,” Harbertson said. “As long as we have good instruments, and keep the people coming and the projects going, the sky’s the limit.”

The Morfords live on Bainbridge Island, and were among hundreds of supporters who donated to build the new center.

“We love wine, and we wanted to give back to WSU,” said Ron Morford.

“We’re Cougs,” added Ann. “We want to see WSU succeed in ways no other school has.”

As Viticulture and Enology Program faculty, students and staff settle into the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center, they look forward to expanding their research, teaching and collaboration with national and international institutions.

The center has capacity for seven faculty, 14 post-doctoral students or visiting scientists, 24 graduate students, two administrative support staff, and 10 technical support staff for the research winery and laboratories.

Wine at WSU Program Director Thomas Henick-Kling explains to Rep. Dan Newhouse how students partner with commercial vineyards and wineries to craft their Blended Learning wines.

WSU offers the region’s only four-year degrees in viticulture and enology or wine business management, preparing future leaders for the industry in state and out. Its scientists conduct research on everything from tannins and grape leaf-roll virus to yeast viability and deficit irrigation in vineyards.

WSU hired Thomas Henick-Kling, one of the world’s premier wine scientists, to lead its program using an endowment supported by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and the Washington wine industry. He has spent time visiting with industry representatives in every wine-growing area of the state and led the planning of the new center and changes in the teaching program.

WSU is the sole state institution supporting agricultural industries in Washington through research, technology transfer or “extension” and the awarding of bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees. The WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences is academic home to over 30 faculty working on wine-related issues, who are stationed across the state at research and extension centers (Mt. Vernon, Prosser and Wenatchee) and two campuses (Pullman and Tri-Cities). The college maintains these research centers, several agronomy farms and extension offices in every county in the state.

- Erika Holmes, Seth Truscott

WSU, Wine Commission open Wine Science Center to industry Elise Jackson, Barnard Griffin tasting room manager and WSU business and marketing alumna, receives a glass of celebratory sparkling wine from Les Walker, who graduated from the Viticulture and Enology Program last December.

The Washington State University Viticulture and Enology Program and the Washington State Wine Commission held a wine and grape industry open house Friday, June 5, to celebrate the grand opening of the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center.

Over 100 guests enjoyed networking with other professionals while sipping premium Washington wine and touring the center’s research laboratories, winemaking facilities and classrooms that will help improve their products and train a skilled workforce. (View photos of the Wine Science Center industry open house on Facebook. Please help us identify people — tag yourself and your friends!)

Industry steers WSU wine research

WSU viticulture and enology research priorities are set on a two-year cycle by the Wine Advisory Committee. The committee is 10 industry members who review research proposals and make funding recommendations.

A 2008 Research Report, commissioned by the Washington wine industry, identified key research focus areas and concluded that the WSU research and teaching facilities available at that time “were inadequate to conduct the research needed by the industry for both today and tomorrow.” Research priorities include:

Improving Washington’s distinct, premium wine
  • Identifying optimum locations for new vineyards and their best cultivar matches
  • Understand differentiation between vineyard sites and climates
  • Gain understanding on how flavors are formed on the vine and in winemaking
  • Improve wine microbiology management during wine production and aging, to deliver consistent and distinct flavor profiles free of defects

Creating healthy plants, environmentally sustainable vineyards and flavorful grapes
  • Increasing profitability by finding new ways to keep soils healthy, reduce inputs, thwart pests, and nurture vigorous plants
  • Address issues of winter freeze damage unique to the growing region
  • Determine the link between vine nutrition and wine quality
  • Keeping vineyards healthy by preventing the spread of plant viruses, phylloxera, and other diseases
  • Better methods for diagnosing virus-infected grape vines

The 2008 report’s findings sparked the campaign for a wine science center in Washington, and the wine industry has played a major role in funding the new facility.

-Erika Holmes

Wine lovers, together we can make life brighter and taste better

Auction of Washington Wines‘ events fund vital research projects, incoming graduate students and equipment necessary for research and teaching in the Washington State University Viticulture and Enology Program.

Donations have improved vineyard practices in Washington’s Columbia Valley by funding research into removing leaves from vines earlier in the growing season to open up the canopy, reduce disease pressure and improve grape quality. Donations also fund research that helps identify, manage and prevent the spread of grapevine diseases, such as Leafroll and Red Blotch, which affect grape quality and yield. Thanks to this funding, winemakers can purchase an affordable, research-based, step-by-step manual for completing microbiological and chemical analyses that improve wine quality and provide more options for controlling the finished product.

The Washington wine industry depends on research projects like these to continue to grow, improve and produce excellent wine — so why not get out and have some fun with a purpose this summer?

Excellent wine, food at Vintners in the Vineyard on Red Mountain WSU Viticulture and Enology Program Director Thomas Henick-Kling thanks Vintners in the Vineyard attendees for their contributions.

Thank you to the 135 guests who joined us for Vintners in the Vineyard at Col Solare winery June 6! The evening was filled with majestic vineyard views of Red Mountain, a delicious dinner and more premium Washington wine selections than one could taste in a single evening.

Twenty-five exceptional winemakers poured three to five of their latest releases. Washington State University wine science students Brooke Kietzmann and Joe Sperry served Blended Learning wines, crafted by undergraduates studying viticulture and enology in partnership with commercial vineyards and wineries in Washington. Gourmet food was catered by Jake Crenshaw of Olive Marketplace and Cafe in Walla Walla.

We’d also like to thank the Auction of Washington Wines for organizing this annual fundraiser, formerly known as Revelry on Red Mountain, that generated $13,700 for the WSU Viticulture and Enology Program and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

>>View event photos on the WSU Viticulture & Enology Facebook Page.

Missed out? Get ready for Sip. Savor. Swirl. 3 Days, 3 Ways to let your palate run wild with the best of Washington wines!

Please join WSU at the Auction of Washington Wines’ annual three days of wine events from Thursday, August 13 to Saturday, August 15. There is an event for every wine lover!

Picnic & Barrel Auction Thursday, August 13, 5 p.m. Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Woodinville

The kickoff to the weekend of events where you’ll have the opportunity to meet and mingle with over 100 Washington winemakers, nosh on gourmet picnic fare and enjoy live entertainment on the lovely concert grounds at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery. Take a peek at the slideshow featuring last year’s festivities; you won’t want to miss it!

Winemaker Dinner Series Friday, August 14, 6:30 p.m., Private Estates around the Puget Sound

Fight, Fight, Fight for fabulous wines! WSU alumnus Greg Rankich and his wife Heidi invite you to a Palouse-enhanced dinner overlooking Lake Washington at their Juanita Bay home. Here you will enjoy not one but three amazing Washington wines paired with an unforgettable dining experience by Chef Aaron Leopold of Crush. This evening will celebrate the opening of the new world-class Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center, where practical research and education will grow the Washington wine industry’s skilled work force and premium products in the years to come. Go Cougs!

This dinner is limited to 40 guests, with only a few seats reserved for Huskies.

Columbia Winery Charity Run & Walk Saturday, August 15, 8:30 a.m. Columbia Winery, Woodinville

Participate in a 5K or 10K course in Woodinville wine country with over 1,400 others!

The Winemaker Gala Saturday, August 15, 5 p.m. Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Woodinville

Join winemakers, wine collectors and philanthropists at the grand finale event celebrating Washington wine. Meet and mingle with over 100 Washington winemakers, enjoy live music and indulge in mouthwatering food from top local chefs at Chateau Ste. Michelle on Thursday, August 13th.

>>More information on Sip. Savor. Swirl events: Browse menus, pour lists and participating Barrel Auction wineries on the Auction of Washington Wines website.

>>Early bird pricing available through July 1st! Reserve tickets for Sip. Savor. Swirl events before they’re gone.

2015 Participating Sponsors

Alaska Airlines | Bank of America | Chateau Ste. Michelle | iHeart Media | John L. Scott Foundation | KING 5 | The Seattle Times | Tulalip Resort Casino

- Erika Holmes

Cheers! Caroline Merrell won a $3,500 American Wine Society Educational Foundation scholarship to fund her wine chemistry research in pursuit of a PhD in food science. Toasting WSU V&E achievements, June 2015

Did we mention the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center opened June 4?!

Caroline Merrell is pursuing her PhD in food science at the center with help from a recently awarded $3,500 American Wine Society Educational Foundation scholarship. The funds will go toward her wine chemistry research with WSU Enologist Jim Harbertson. Merrell is from Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, and received a B.S. in Chemistry from Bucknell University before studying at WSU.

The WSU Wine Science Center Grand Opening issue of Voice of the Vine would not be complete without recognizing the following two groups who were integral to its creation.

Wine Campaign Members
  • Theodor Baseler, Committee Chair, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
  • Steve Burns, O’Donnell Lane
  • Martin Clubb, L’Ecole No. 41
  • Dennis DeYoung, Grand Slam Licensing Inc.
  • Jeff Gordon, Gordon Estate: Gordon Brothers Winery, Kamiak Vineyards
  • Stacie Hamilton, Hamilton Cellars
  • Matt Haskins, Southern Wine & Spirits
  • WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Keith Moo-Young leads the Board of Regents and Washington State Wine Commission President Steve Warner in toasting to the grand opening of the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center on June 4, 2015.
  • Tom Hedges, American Wine Trade Inc.
  • Lane Hoss, Mad Anthony’s Inc.
  • Janet LeDuc, Washington Wine Country Consortium
  • Kari Leitch, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
  • Greg and Stacy Lill, DeLille Cellars; O Wines; Cashmere Corporation
  • Jesse Lyon, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
  • Norm McKibben, Pepper Bridge Winery
  • Reed McKinlay, Wyckoff Farms; Coventry Vale Winery
  • Rob Mercer, Mercer Estates Winery
  • Rick Middleton, Anderson & Middleton Company; Middleton Family Wines
  • Carol Munro, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
  • Chris Sarles, Young’s Columbia Wine Company
  • Lyn Tangen, Vulcan Inc.
  • Don Transeth, School of the Legends
  • Eileen Votteler, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
Wine Science Center Public Development Authority
  • Rob McKinney, Chair, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
  • David Forsyth, Vice Chair, Zirkle Fruit Company
  • Bob Tippett, Secretary, Tippett Companies
  • Pat Dineen, Dineen Vineyards
  • Tim Kennedy, Don Carlo Vineyards
  • Coke Roth, Coke Roth Law
  • Bruce Schwan, SCM Engineering

Do you know a WSU student, faculty member or alumnus who deserves a cheer? Submit their achievements to Voice of the Vine Editor Erika Holmes at erika.holmes@wsu.edu!

4-H Art’s Camp scheduled

Prior 4-H experience is not required

It’s time to register for the first annual 4-H Art’s Camp offered this summer by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. The camp, open to youth ages 9-14, is scheduled for August 6-7. The camp will start at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 12:30 p.m.

Every participant can expect to have fun doing a variety of hands-on activities such as theater art, painting, recycled art, creating a camp commercial, tie-dying T-shirts and more. 4-H S.T.E.M. day camps remind youth that learning can be fun! 4-H is an organization that primarily focuses on youth development. Youth involved in 4-H learn leadership, citizenship, technical skills and life skills through active participation in events, projects and community service.

Cooperative Extension’s Lifelong Learning Center is located at 8050 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nev. Cost of the day camp is $50 per person per session and includes cost of supplies, T-shirt, snacks and refreshments. Sibling registration is $40 per person per session. Please note the camp is open to all youth from any part of Nevada and previous 4-H experience is not required.

4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. 4-H began a century ago as an educational program for the nation’s rural youth. Today, 4-H meets the needs of and engages young people in positive youth development experiences. 4-H participants are all youth, ages 5 to 19, taking part in programs.

4-H is the largest out-of-school youth organization in the United States with over 7 million members. There are over 49,000 young people engaged in 4-H programs across the state of Nevada. The 4-H program promotes life skills development through an expanding number of delivery modes: 4-H community and project clubs, military and 4-H afterschool programs; special interest groups; school enrichment; faith-based; camping and more.

For more information on the Art’s Camp, please email or call Karen Best at 702-257-5538.

MSU Extension Gallatin County 4-H seeks judges for county fair

Montana State University Extension News - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 12:00am
<p>BOZEMAN – Montana State University Extension in Gallatin County 4-H is looking for residents to help interview youth and judge...

MSU Extension offers natural resource workshop for landowners Aug. 4

Montana State University Extension News - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 12:00am
<p>BOZEMAN – Montana State University Extension in Gallatin County is offering private landowners an evening workshop on managing the natural...

MSU researchers win grant for ‘Beef to School’ research

Montana State University Extension News - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 12:00am
<p>A team of Montana State University researchers and community partners has been awarded a three-year, $220,000 grant to help Montana...

WSU’s Green Times – June 2015

Washington State University Extension News - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 2:33pm
Events & more In the news

Chipotle Mexican Grill looks to the WSU Bread Lab for a better tortilla (New York Times)

Poplar bioenergy field tour

June 30, Hayden, ID Info and registration

WSU Mt. Vernon NWREC Annual Field Day

July 9, Mt. Vernon, WA. Learn more.

JULY FARM WALKS Presented by Tilth Producers and WSU’s Small Farms Program.

Farm-to-resort: Agritourism with a certified organic garden

July 13, Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort, Chelan County Register.

Behind the brew: Organic hops production

July 27, Perrault Farm, Yakima County Register.

Home Food Preservation Classes

Dates and registration here.

New book!

Fundamentals of Consumer Food Safety and Preservation. Available at the CAHNRS publications store.

NEW! Extension Drought Website

Find timely updates and a wealth of water conservation information to help with a dry year. drought.wsu.edu


In loving memory WSU President Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D March 1, 1956 – June 20, 2015

The day we begin to take our agricultural legacy for granted is the day that we will begin to lose it.

- President Elson S. Floyd

Elson Floyd was very supportive of WSU’s long-standing tradition of outstanding teaching, research, and extension in organic agriculture. He was proud of WSU being the first university to have an organic agriculture major and the largest organic teaching farm in the nation.

- John Reganold, Regents Professor of Soil Science & Agroecology

Please share your comments and remembrances here.

Read More


Organic agriculture more profitable to farmers

A comprehensive study finds organic agriculture is more profitable for farmers than conventional agriculture. The results show that there’s room for organic agriculture to expand and, with its environmental benefits, to contribute a larger share in feeding the world sustainably. Read More The flavor of a revolution

When it comes to cider, Washington is out front with 30-plus cideries, more than any other state in the country. An interview with cider industry expert Alan Shapiro sheds light on this booming sector of the craft beverage industry. Warning: this Crosscut.com story may fuel your thirst for a cider adventure. Read More Cover crops: Monoculture vs. polyculture

In a two-part blog post from the Center For Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Andy McGuire explains why “straight up” beats “cocktails” for cover crop productivity (Part 1) and ecosystem services (Part 2). Read about research that supports the idea that when it comes to cover crops, a mix may not always be the best idea.

Read More Harnessing wild yeasts to produce refined wines

Wild yeasts grow naturally on grapes, and researchers at Washington State University are looking to find what impact those wild yeasts can have on bottles of wine.

“Winemaking is more sorcery than science,” said Dean Glawe, a WSU plant pathology professor. “Part of what makes particular wines special is what’s growing on the grapes.”

Read More Alaska Airliines plans biofuel test flight in WSU parntership

Washington state’s hometown airline is teaming up with the Washington State University-led Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) to advance the production and use of alternative jet fuel made from forest residuals, the tree limbs and branches that remain after a forest harvest.

Read More

Southern Nevada 4-H invites everyone to Wet and Wild

The Yardley family shows off their 4-H tattoos at last year’s event. Photo courtesy of Karen Best

Prior 4-H experience is not required!

Plan to take your family to the Wet and Wild water park on Monday, July 13 for a fun-filled day that supports University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s 4-H youth development program. Park hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. The pre-purchased admission is $25 per person and proceeds from each ticket sale support 4-H.

Wet and Wild is located at 7055 S. Fort Apache Road, Las Vegas, Nev. Look for the 4-H area near the east side of the wave pool to get your 4-H temporary tattoo and for a change to win some fabulous prizes. Prior 4-H experience is not required.

4-H is the largest out-of-school youth organization in the United States with over 7 million members. There are over 49,000 young people engaged in 4-H programs across the state of Nevada. The 4-H program promotes life skills development through an expanding number of delivery modes: 4-H community and project clubs, military and 4-H afterschool programs; special interest groups; school enrichment; faith-based; camping and more.

Buy your tickets online. Please enter the promo code: CLARKCOUNTY4H. For more information about the water park event or the 4-H program, email or call Karen Best at 702-257-5538. We hope to see you there!

School gardens coordinator recognized by school district

Karyn Johnson (center) receives recognition from the Board of Trustees. Photo Courtesy of Cooperative Extension.

Karyn Johnson, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension school gardens coordinator, and Cooperative Extension were honored and recognized at the Clark County School District’s (CCSD) Board of School Trustee’s meeting. The honor was in recognition and thanks for all the work Johnson and Cooperative Extension has done to support the school garden programs across the district.

Johnson was nominated by Cheryl Wagner, coordinator for the CCSD School-Community Partnership program. The award was presented at the monthly Trustee’s meeting at the Edward Greer Education Center on June 18.

At the awards presentation, Wagner personally thanked Johnson for the programming that supports the school learning gardens. Some of their earliest support was working with a few CCSD schools that had a school garden in place already, such as Gene Ward Elementary School (that has developed into the largest school garden in the valley).

“In the early years of their partnership,” explained Wagner, “Cooperative Extension focused on helping to find funding sources, grants and partners as well as supporting the schools with materials, tools and teaching materials such as lessons.” From the early stages, Cooperative Extension worked diligently to connect their lessons to the Nevada Academic Standards and CCSD curriculum. Their goal was to help teachers connect the outdoor environment to literacy, next Generation Science Standards and additional Nevada academic content standards.

Cooperative Extension also offers professional development courses for teachers focused on using the outdoor environment to teach. They train Master Gardener volunteers and create a connection between the Master Gardeners and some of the schools that support gardens. They provide on-going support and answer hundreds of questions from school garden committees.

“The teachers are encouraged to visit the Demonstration and Test Gardens,” added Wagner, “they are located at their Lifelong learning Center.” The demonstration gardens also offer field experiences for students throughout the year. Johnson, along with the support of her organization and her supervisor, Angela O’Callaghan, social horticulturist, visit more than 25 schools each year, and over the years has assisted hundreds of teachers and schools with their gardens.

Johnson is always willing to provide advice for how to build a garden, what to grow, how to protect the garden from pests and the heat, and how to harvest and use produce grown. She provides expert advice, not only for the edible gardens, but also for desert demonstration and learning gardens. They helped many schools get their initial garden projects off the ground. Now with other community organizations involved in building gardens, Johnson focuses mainly on sustainable support and education. She also runs a Junior Master Garden program which is done both at the Cooperative Extension site and at several schools as an after-school activity. All of the programming offers interactive views of what is necessary in order to grow food in the desert, conserve water, and also native plant and animal adaptations.

This past year, Karyn has presented or hosted 47 schools, with approximately 6,000 students involved. About 60 teachers have participated in the Professional Development Education classes this year and she presented in numerous school-wide staff development sessions.