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Auction Items, Breaking a Million, Self-directed Study

Posted by | January 8, 2009

Exciting, Unusual Auction Items Highlight ’09 “A Celebration of Washington Wines”

A ride in a Christen Eagle aerobic biplane is just one of many items up for bid at this year's

A ride in a Christen Eagle aerobatic biplane is just one of many items up for bid at this year’s “A Celebration of Washington Wine.”

Have you always had a burning desire to experience aerobatic barrel rolls, loops, Cuban 8’s and wingovers in a Christen Eagle biplane?

Or perhaps you’re more grounded and would prefer to discuss aeronautics over dinner – a private dinner and wine tasting for ten hosted by Boeing Commercial Airplane President Scott Carson in Boeing’s private suite in Seattle’s Fairmount Olympic Hotel.

Then there is the opportunity to bid on a gift certificate for a private charter flight to a regional destination of your choice courtesy of SeaPort Airlines of Seattle.

If Cougar football is your cup of tea, then you’ll be interested in the opportunity for you and three guests to be hosted for a special day of football at the Cougar season opener at Seattle’s Qwest Field on Sept. 12 as the personal guests of WSU Athletic Director Jim Sterk.

That’s just a sampling of the many exciting items that will be on the auction block at this year’s “A Celebration of Washington Wines” gala to benefit the WSU Viticulture and Enology program.

The eighth annual black-tie event features a reception, multi-course dinner with wine pairing prepared by award-winning Chateau Ste. Michelle culinary staff and both silent and live auctions.

Other auction lots include a variety of dining and wine tasting experiences, getaways and, of course, a variety of exquisite and sometimes rare wines and collections, including the popular CEO collections of wines donated by business leaders from throughout the state.

The event has been a sellout for the past two years, but tickets are still available for this year’s “Celebration.”

“A Celebration of Washington Wines” will be held on Saturday, Jan. 24, starting at 6 p.m. at the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville. Tickets for the event are $250 each, and reservations can be made by contacting Linda Bailey at or by calling 509-335-7772. The deadline for reservations is Jan. 20.

More information is available by visiting

Breaking a Million?

Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling is the new director of WSU V&E. His endowed chair is funded in part by

Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling is the new director of WSU V&E. His endowed chair is funded in part by “A Celebration of Washington Wines.”

“A Celebration of Washington Wines” managed to gross more than $1 million to benefit the WSU Viticulture and Enology program in its first six years, thanks to those who have attended and bid generously.

Now in its eighth year, there is a good chance that the gala dinner and auction benefit will break the million dollar net mark to benefit the program, according to auction organizing committee chair Nancy Harnasch.

“By my calculations, we should be able to top the million dollar mark in net proceeds at some point during this year’s auction,” she said. “And when we do, we’ll celebrate.”

The gala event has helped to build and strengthen the viticulture and enology program at WSU that provides research in support of the industry, and the education and hands-on training of the state’s next generation of wine grape growers and winemakers.

The proceeds from the gala over the last two years were applied to establishing an endowed chair for the V& E program.

The endowment has enabled the university to recruit internationally renowned enologist Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling to chair the program. He begins this spring and will be located at the WSU Tri-cities campus.

Henick-Kling comes to WSU from Charles Sturt University in Australia where he served as professor of enology and director of the National Wine and Grape Industry Center. He is probably best known in the United States for his work in establishing the undergraduate viticulture and enology at Cornell University where he worked for 20 years.

WSU Vit and Enology Certificate Program Offers New Self-directed Option

No waiting: learn winemaking now by taking a self-directed wine production class - online!

No waiting: learn winemaking now by taking a self-directed wine production class – online!

To learn more, please visit

The WSU Viticulture and Enology Certificate Program now has a new option available.

If you do not need a certificate for employment reasons, do not have the time or financial resources for the certificate program, or are anxious to start learning about winemaking and can’t wait till a seat in the certificate program opens up – then the new self-directed program may be the option for you.

The self-directed program provides you the opportunity to take individual courses. There are no exams or assignments due, there is no contact with the instructor, there is no requirement to attend the weekend camps, and there is no certificate. However, by taking a course you will receive a URL to a Web site where you can obtain the lectures given by WSU and industry specialists. The lectures are PowerPoint presentations with audio, and they are the same lectures that the students in the certificate program receive.

The Web site to take self-directed enology courses is now open and the first course, Wine Production, is available for only $200. More enology courses will be added soon and a site for self-directed viticulture courses will also be available soon.

To learn more about the Wine Production course, please visit: