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New face in WSU’s V&E program: Q&A with Kaury Balcom

Posted by | March 21, 2016

In February, WSU’s Viticulture and Enology program welcomed Kaury Balcom as its new Public Relations and Communications Coordinator. Kaury will work with the wine industry in Washington to get the word out about research and education being done at WSU, and help coordinate events that WSU is involved in.

Kaury, who is from Pasco, will also be taking over as editor of this newsletter in the near future. We wanted to introduce her to our readers and the wine industry with this Q&A.

Kaury Balcom
Kaury Balcom

What is your background?

I started my career in hospitality. I have more than 10 years of experience in fine dining, event and food and beverage management. I earned a B.A. in business administration with an emphasis in management and marketing from Carroll College in Montana.

What is your interest in wine and the wine industry?

Other than the fact that I enjoy drinking wine, my family has been in the industry for many years and I enjoy seeing it thrive.

What is your favorite part of the job?

The people. Everyone in the V&E program seems excited about what they do. It is a very collaborative and innovative environment. The relationship between the program and the industry is also very special. Everyone has been encouraging and supportive!

What have you learned about wine so far?

I did wine education when I was in food and beverage management, so I wasn’t coming into it blindly. The majority of what I learned previously was about what comes out of the bottle. Now I’m learning more about what goes into it! The research and analysis conducted in the V&E program continue to impress me.

What do you expect in your first year or so on the job?

I think this will be a year of learning. This is unique program within a large organization and a complex industry. There are many things to learn and people to meet!

What are your favorite kinds of wine?

Whites are my favorite, mostly Sauvignon Blanc. In the summer time, I really enjoy a glass (or two) of rosé and I never turn down bubbles.

What do you do in your downtime?

I enjoy traveling, even if it’s a quick road trip. I feel fortunate to call the Pacific Northwest home and I try to enjoy it as much as possible. When I’m home I enjoy golfing and cooking.

Kaury can be reached at 509-372-7223, or