Washington State University viticulture and enology student Connor Eck and WSU Associate Professor of Wine Chemistry Jim Harbertson process grapes at the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center. In 2017, 30 tons of grapes were used to create WSU research wines. (Courtesy of WSU Tri-Cities)

More students set sights on WSU degrees to launch wine industry careers

120 students now enrolled in viticulture, enology undergraduate program Seven years ago, Becca DeKleine was the lone College of Agriculture student walking at Washington State University’s Tri-Cities campus commencement. She carried the department’s banner by herself. She and three others graduated together with an emphasis in viticulture and enology in 2011. The others graduated from…

The Four Feathers Wine Estates warehouse features an elevated receiving area and gravity-fed crush pad that doesn’t rely on an auger for maceration, which reduces grape-skin tearing to reduce astringent compounds. It’s a preferred process for making high-end white wines, said David Forsyth, winemaker and general manager. (Courtesy Four Feathers Wine Estates)

Prosser bulk winemaking operation poised to expand with growing demand

Four Feathers Wine Estates processed 15,000 tons of grapes last year The winemaking happening inside Four Feathers Wine Estates in Prosser is no small operation. The more than 100 towering silver tanks can store three million gallons within the 50,000-square-foot warehouse and process some 15,000 tons of wine grapes a year. Four Feathers’ focus is…

Sharing the golden scissors to cut the ribbon during the Feb. 9 ground-breaking of Columbia Gardens Urban Wine & Artisan Village are Don Barnes, vice president of the Port of Kennewick Commission, left, and Kennewick Mayor Don Britain. Winemaker Victor Palencia of Palencia Wine Company stands next to Barnes and Bart Fawbush of Bartholomew Winery is next to Britain. (Courtesy Port of Kennewick)

Long-awaited Columbia Gardens opens, second phase beginning soon

Public plaza, space for food trucks to be completed this summer Now that wine is being made and poured at Kennewick’s waterfront wine village, the community can look forward to the next ribbon cutting, as the second phase is set to get underway this summer. A larger-than-expected crowd gathered for the Feb. 9 ribbon cutting…

Rob Griffin’s Rosé of Sangiovese has won the rosé category five times since 2008, and a gold medal every year for 12 out of 13 years at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest judging of wine in the United States. The 2017 vintage won the rosé sweepstakes at the 2018 contest. (Courtesy Andy Perdue of Great Northwest Wine)

Richland winery making one of best rosés in country

By Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman, Wine News Service When Rob Griffin arrived in Washington wine country from his native California in early 1977, he never dreamed he’d be most famous for making pink wine. Yet today, the owner/winemaker of Barnard Griffin in Richland may be making the best rosé in America. Among wine lovers,…

Nevermind those wine grapes, Concords yield sweet juices

By Marilou Shea Zeb’s Vineyard produces mighty fine grapes. But they typically aren’t found in an award-winning bottle of wine. Unlike the vinifera primarily grown on the West Coast that have ties to European heritage, Zeb’s grape varietals harken from good ole America. The juicy Concord is named after its namesake Massachusetts town. They’re the…

An artist’s rendering of the planned Vintner Village II incubator building in Prosser. The Prosser Economic Development Association plans to occupy one of the spaces. Richland’s ALD Architects designed the building. (Courtesy Port of Benton)

Port of Benton to break ground on $2 million development in Prosser

The Port of Benton plans to kick-start a new 21-lot development with a $2 million building in Prosser designed to attract boutique businesses to complement the neighboring Vintner Village. Construction on the new building, which will include three bays for businesses, as well as an adjacent office building for a nonprofit, is expected to begin…

Hilan Piao, WSU research associate for the viticulture and enology program, takes samples of research wine for analysis at the Wine Science Center in Richland. The 40,000-square-foot facility boasts a state-of-the-art research and teaching winery, complete with labs, classrooms and meeting spaces.

Wine Science Center a boon to state viticulture, enology industry

The region’s wine leaders realized several years ago that an investment in students and research would ultimately lead to a more lucrative statewide industry. The students have come and the research is underway with the opening of the Washington State University Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Wine Science Center in Richland. “Industry leaders said, ‘We have…

Washington state has produced more red wine than white since 2013, a trend that appears likely to continue into the foreseeable future. (Courtesy Wine News Service)

Washington’s wine production shifts firmly into reds

By Wine News Service Politically, Washington’s Columbia Valley has been the red part of a blue state for decades. And when it comes to wine, Washington has shifted firmly to being a red wine-producing state. The last year Washington produced more white wine than red was in 2012, and it’s likely to be the last…

The $3.2 million West Richland industrial wastewater treatment plant, known as the I-Plant, opened before last year’s first crush. It’s a plant that treats all the effluent before any remaining waste gets processed through West Richland’s sewer system. (Courtesy city of West Richland)

Cities build wine waste treatment plants to lure wineries

By Sean Bassinger Even the sweetest wine has waste. That’s why two Eastern Washington cities have invested in special wastewater treatment facilities to handle wine effluent. It’s not a glamorous piece of the wine industry, but it’s a critical part of a continued multimillion-dollar effort to draw more wineries to the Tri-City area. The $3.2…

Pinot Gris vines at Hogue Ranches in Prosser. (Courtesy WSU)

State legislators keen on supporting state’s growing wine industry

Wine growlers, wine at movies among proposed bills in Olympia The state’s wine industry — with the Mid-Columbia at the center — is in great shape and getting better as several state legislators push bills to improve sales in Washington. The state has about 900 wineries — compared to about 300 in 2004 — with…

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