September 27, 2017
A new center at Washington State University will help the industry’s bottom line, but what about its soul.
t might seem strange to say, but a recent stop at the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center has convinced me that wine science will be as integral as anything else to the continued success of Washington wine. After all, we’re staring at a future of unpredictable growing seasons marked by potentially severe challenges like extreme heat, drought, and rampant forest fires, and while we certainly can’t rely just on science to solve our problems, it will be a huge part of finding workable solutions.
The benefits of a world-class teaching and research institution located in Washington wine country have been clear to the industry itself, which contributed heavily to the project. Techniques that would be risky or expensive for a winery to experiment with can be explored and refined in a laboratory before being promoted to winemakers and grape-growers. During my visit, I heard about experiments on how wildfire smoke affects grapes, and how to detect those affects prior to fermentation; typically smoke taint is detectable only after the wine is made…Read the entire article on the Seattle Weekly