A Celebration of Washington Wines, White Wine Quality, Expect Perfect Pairings

Eighth Annual Wine Auction Hits $1 Million Net Milestone for WSU V&E Program

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates’ Ted Baseler raises a toast to the $1 million milestone. Photo credit: Vivian Hsu for Team Photogenic

wine auction

Generous bidding at the 2009 “A Celebration of Washington Wines” made this year’s event the eighth consecutive success. Proceeds help support WSU’s program in viticulture and enology. Photos: Vivian Hsu for Team Photogenic

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During this year’s “A Celebration of Washington Wines” dinner and auction held Saturday glasses were hoisted to toast the bid that put net proceeds raised over the event’s eight years over the $1 million mark. Proceeds support WSU’s Viticulture and Enology Program and have helped established an endowed chair to head the program.

This year’s gala brought in a total of more than $168,000 in auction bids, ticket sales, sponsorships, and donations which was more than enough to pass the $1 million net proceeds milestone.

Attendance was somewhat lower than in recent years, but the generosity of those attending is deeply appreciated, according to Dan Bernardo, dean of the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

“Washington’s wine industry remains a bright spot in our state’s economy, and we deeply appreciate the generosity of those who attended in supporting the WSU program that provides the research and training that supports the industry,” Bernardo said. “In the current, economic climate the showing of support is even more critical, and even more appreciated.”

Bernardo also extended special thanks to Ted Baseler, the president and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Cougar alum, for once again hosting the gala dinner and auction.

“Each year our auction demonstrates the strong support in the wine community for what we want to achieve at WSU,” said Baseler. “This is the road to building a world-class program.”

At the start of this year’s festivities, Baseler announced that Ste. Michelle Wine Estates had undertaken a special effort this year to raise additional funds to benefit the Viticulture and Enology Program through restaurant sales of its wines. The effort contributed $40,000 to the auction proceeds. A total of 123 restaurants statewide participated in the point-of-sale promotion. Ste. Michelle says the promotion will be an annual effort.

Washington’s wine industry contributes an estimated $3 billion annually to the state’s economy, and has grown to include nearly 600 wineries and more than 30,000 acres in wine grape production.

Growers Invited to Provide Input, Evaluation of White Wine Quality Research

Researchers from WSU are teaming up with Cornell University scientists to make great white wines even better. Grower and researcher input is invited at a series of three meetings in 2009.
Researchers from WSU are teaming up with Cornell University scientists to make great white wines even better. Grower and researcher input is invited at a series of three meetings in 2009.

Ask a wine expert what makes a great glass of wine and they’ll answer: good fruit. Now, three Washington State University scientists have begun research on the effects of vineyard nutrient management on wine quality as a result of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new Specialty Crops Research Initiative Grant.

Project director and WSU professor Joan Davenport, food scientist Kerry Ringer and viticulture extension specialist Mercy Olmstead have teamed up with three scientists from Cornell University to conduct the research.

Davenport said the project objective is to connect stakeholders and scientists through a series of meetings to develop an interdisciplinary multi-state team to study the impact of nitrogen management on all aspects of growing white wine grapes.

The team will investigate plant nutrient management options for enhancing flavor and aroma compounds in white wine grapes, as well as explore options for assuring adequate nutrients for fermentation while at the same time discouraging aspects that may adversely affect vine health, such as fungal diseases or insect pests.

The white wine quality research team is holding three meetings during which they will give short presentations about the research proposed and ask for input and evaluation from stakeholders and researchers. The first meeting is scheduled for Feb. 3, 8:30 – 3 p.m. at the Kennewick Red Lion hotel.

Expect Perfect Pairings

expect perfect pairings

These are just a couple of the many videos available on the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences and WSU Extension You Tube channel: http://tinyurl.com/cfhcue

Seen any good movies lately? Check out this brief video on viticulture and enology research and education at WSU, “Expect Perfect Pairings.” The video is streaming on a You Tube channel near you:


And while you’re visiting our You Tube channel, be sure to catch this short video featuring WSU V&E students talking about their educational experience: