Thomas Henick-Kling, new director of Washington State University’s viticulture and enology program, will be in Spokane this week as part of a statewide tour to meet with industry leaders, listen to their needs and outline his vision for the program. He is available for interviews Thursday, April 16. Interviews can be arranged by calling him directly or through the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences Marketing, News, and Educational Communications.
Henick-Kling assumed his new responsibilities at WSU on March 1. He most recently was professor of enology and director of the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre at Charles Sturt University in Australia.
“For a long time, I have admired the Washington wine industry in its vision and enormous potential for quality and growth,” he said.
“In the past, WSU has had some outstanding individual scientists, now the WSU viticulture and enology program is a group with much talent that needs to find a common direction. I am excited about the possibility of being able to add strength to the V and E program and support the Washington wine industry.”
Before moving to Australia in 2007, Henick-Kling worked at Cornell University for 20 years. He was instrumental in the establishment of Cornell’s undergraduate program in enology and viticulture.
His research has focused on the development of bacteria starter cultures for malolactic fermentation of wine. Based on his initial research and extension efforts, winemakers now recognize that the yeast strain they use has a major impact on the final wine flavor profile.
He also headed the U.S. education and research effort about stuck fermentations due to a lack of glucose. As a result of that work, most wine laboratories now measure glucose and fructose separately.
Henick-Kling has been honored nationally and internationally for his work. The New York Wine & Grape Foundation awarded Henick-Kling its Wine Industry Research Award in 1994. The International Association of Enology, Winery Management and Wine Marketing made him an honorary life member in 2002.
Henick-Kling also has won three “best paper in enology” awards from the American Society for Enology & Viticulture, which also selected him as director of its Technical Projects Committee from 1999 to 2006. He also has served as a member of the ASEV board and as a member of the Advisory Committee for the National Viticulture Consortium East.
Henick-Kling was the first graduate student at the Australian Wine Research Institute at the University of Adelaide where he earned his Ph.D. degree. He earned his master’s in microbiology and food science at Oregon State University.