Voice of the Vine

Disrupting mealybug mating may help protect vineyards from grapevine leafroll disease

Prosser, WA – The grape mealybug has plagued Washington wine grape growers for decades. Researchers at Washington State University are launching a study with synthetic sex pheromones to disrupt mealybug mating—and, hopefully, the damage mealybugs…

Two hands hold dark purple wine grapes with white ooze indicating a mealy bug infection.

Wild Washington yeast may hold key to reducing sugar content in wine

Creating wine is a balancing act between the quality of harvested grapes and the types of microorganisms that ferment grape juice. Too much sugar during the fermentation process means too much alcohol in the final…

Purple grapes hang from a green vine on a sunny day in a Washington vineyard.

University students create new wine for auction to benefit WSU Viticulture & Enology

An exclusive wine created by seniors of the WSU wine science program will be available for purchase at this month’s Auction of Washington Wines Private Barrel Auction for wine traders, April 19 and 20. Currently aging in French oak barrels, the wine is a red blend featuring 60% Petit Verdot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% […]

First gen WSU wine alumnus creates new Petit Verdot

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – At 31 years old, WSU Viticulture & Enology alumnus Noel Perez (‘20) recently created and launched a 2016 Petit Verdot under his own label, Calvario Cellars. Born in Mexico and raised in the Walla Walla Valley, Perez often accompanied his parents to their agricultural work sites where they picked asparagus, onions, […]

Cavario Cellars is spelled in gold lettering over blue mountains on this close up of a red wine bottle next to a wine glass.

New scholarship endowment to support minority and under-represented students in Viticulture and Enology

A three-way partnership between Woodinville Wine Country, Chateau Ste. Michelle, and DeLille Cellars will aim to recruit students from diverse backgrounds for WSU’s wine science program. As racial justice protests erupted across the country last summer, Amber Schmitt, Director of Marketing for Woodinville Wine Country, said the organization was challenged about what they were doing […]

Wine science students work in a lab; two students have white coats while one has a blue coat and wears a WSU ball cap.

WSU Viticulture & Enology alumnus continues studies in France and Spain

Jake Lazar is not letting the COVID-19 pandemic interfere with plans to continue his winemaking education overseas. The 2019 WSU Viticulture & Enology graduate had envisioned a master’s program at the L’institut Agro in Montpellier, France, as his next step since his sophomore year. “COVID made it complicated, but I wasn’t going to let that […]

A young man takes a sample of chardonnay wine while standing on a ladder in front of barrels.

Cider production problems might be solved with nutrients for yeast

Washington State University researchers are working to develop a nutrient formula for yeast that could make fermentation easier and more predictable for cider-makers. “Cider apples don’t have as many nutrients for yeast, unlike grapes,” said Claire Warren, a microbiologist for WSU’s School of Food Science. “I want to make a nutrient base for yeast used […]

A woman with a clipboard in a lab coat monitors equipment.

Wild Washington yeast strains might be beneficial for winemakers

Researchers at Washington State University’s School of Food Science are analyzing hundreds of non-Saccharomyces yeasts taken from vineyards all over Washington state, to determine what strains are most beneficial for fermentation. “These non-saccharomyces yeasts influence the sensory quality of the final product,” said Charles Edwards, professor and food scientist in Food Science. “If you drink […]

A woman monitors scientific equipment while wearing a white lab coat.

WSU wine science program seeks bottle donations

Companies with a surplus in extra glass bottles are encouraged to donate their unused supply to the Viticulture & Enology Program. “We bottle wines for academic as well as industry research, for trials and use in extension seminars and our viticulture and enology classes,” said Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling, director of the Viticulture and Enology program. […]

A man in a grey shirt stands facing a wall of wine bottles.

WSU researchers studying spread of red blotch virus in vineyards

RICHLAND, Wa. – Grapevine red blotch disease spreads through vineyards and blotches leaves, shrinking wine and juice grape harvests. Researchers at WSU’s Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Wine Science Center are studying how and why the grapevine red blotch virus, which causes the disease, spreads. “We’re interested in finding out how the grapevines respond to the […]

Pinot noir grapes photographed against a white background with small bunches of discolored fruit.