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Julia Kock, Stan Clarke, Sustainability

Posted by | July 10, 2008

WSU V&E Alumna Grows World-Class Grapes

Julia Kock, Klipsun Vineyard manager, and her dog Brix. Kock was one of the first graduates from WSU's program in viticulture and enology.

Julia Kock, Klipsun Vineyard manager, and her dog Brix. Kock was one of the first graduates from WSU’s program in viticulture and enology.

Check out a video interview with Kock on our You Tube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_fJppzsvio

Julia Kock had been working as a human resource manager in the aluminum industry in south central Washington when the industry collapsed. Having an agricultural background and a master’s in animal science, she thought she might like to get back into farming.

Searching the Web one day, Kock (pronounced Cook) found WSU’s program in viticulture and enology. “WSU Tri-Cities popped up,” Kock said. “That was within driving distance. I was able to enroll as a junior.” Kock was a member of the first graduating class from WSU Tri-Cities in 2004.

“WSU was great,” Kock said. “The program was a combination of distance-over-video class and in-person lectures. One of the best things about it was getting to know the professors and getting one-on-one experience. And I made some really good friends, too!”

Today, she is the vineyard manager at Klipsun Vineyards in the prestigious Red Mountain AVA. “Red Mountain,” said Kock, “is all over the news because some extremely high-quality wines are being made from the grapes grown here. And it’s booming; we’re planting vineyards all over the place.”

Klipsun Vineyards was rated by Wine & Spirits magazine as one of the world’s 25 best.

What does it mean to be a vineyard manager?

“If you were looking at this as a corporate structure,” Kock said, “I’m the human resources department, I’m the accounting department, the payroll department, and the viticulturist. The science is huge: it’s everything from plant physiology, to irrigation and canopy management. It involves a lot of chemistry. To me, that’s what makes the difference, because it’s all based on science.”

Well grounded in science, management and business, Kock said “I love my job. I’m outside all the time, doing scientific stuff, which I really love. And I get to bring my dog to work.”

Stan Clarke Recognized in Wine Hall of Fame

Stan Clarke working in a Washington vineyard.

Stan Clarke working in a Washington vineyard

A video memorial by Wine Press Northwest is available on You Tube: http://tinyurl.com/27q6o2.

Stan Clarke will be inducted into the Washington Wine Hall of Fame on July 12. His induction will take place at the Washington Wine Gala in Prosser. The Legends Hall of Fame is a project of the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center.

Clarke was a much-respected teacher and a founding faculty member of the Enology and Viticulture Center at Walla Walla Community College. He died unexpectedly last November.

Martin Clubb, the owner and managing winemaker at L’Ecole 41, said Clarke “was enormously respected by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. Stan was passionate about his work, intelligent, easy going, and endlessly giving of his time.”

Clarke earned a Master’s in education at WSU and started his teaching career in the Prosser School District. In 1987, he served as president of the Washington Wine Institute, forerunner of the Washington Wine Commission.

Clarke was selected for induction into the Hall of Fame from among six candidates, Clubb said.

For more on Clarke, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/6bmjqe

For more information on the Clore Center, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/5cdjmr

For the Long Haul, Sustain It!

Check out Vinewise to get the low down on keeping your vineyard sustainable.

Check out Vinewise to get the low down on keeping your vineyard or winery sustainable.

The Washington wine grape industry just got a little more sustainable. The Washington Wine Industry Foundation was awarded a USDA specialty crop block grant to ensure grape growers have the tools needed to sustain, grow and compete. The grant funds are being used to hire a consultant who will work one-on-one with growers to utilize Vinewise.

Vinewise is an online guide to sustainable viticulture that was designed by and for growers and vintners. The guide is entirely online and provides checklists detailing issues growers and vintners must consider in making sustainable business and viticultural decisions. The guide has interactive self-evaluation forms for growers to evaluate the sustainability of their current practices.

The consultant, Astrid Goplen, grew up in Denmark where she earned her B.S. and M.S. in agronomy with emphasis on pest management. Goplen moved to Wenatchee in 1993 and worked at the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center where she co-authored several publications on mite control. For the past 10 years, Goplen has been an independent integrated pest management consultant for tree-fruit and wine-grape growers.

Visit Vinewise at http://www.vinewise.org.