Washington Wine Research Funding Boost Pt 2

Washington Wine Research Funding Boost Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. The Washington wine industry is preparing for a significant boost of nearly 300% in its research budget over the next four years.

An estimated $5.5-million worth of research funding is part of a new strategic plan recently approved by the Wine Commission's board of directors.

The Commission's Research Director Melissa Hansen says it's a big leap forward ...

HANSEN ... "We've got a four-year strategic plan that was approved by the commission board. It's a very detailed plan. It is not one of these sit-on-the-shelf, look-pretty-on-your-coffee-table. This is something that has very specific goals. We have sort of a four-pronged approach and then there's very specific goals underneath that."

So, what makes this different? ...

HANSEN ... "We will have more money to dedicate that the Wine Commission itself will fund viticulture and enology research. So, some of that will be at Washington State University, our research partner. Some could be elsewhere depending on what the need and what the priority is."

Hansen says this could be groundbreaking ...

HANSEN ... "I want to be able to in five years say, you know, we really supported some transformational research that moved the dial. The industry now has a hope of controlling grape vine virus in the vineyard or mechanization or whatever the topic is."

And, she says, the industry has stepped up ...

HANSEN ... "We've got a lot of industry feedback and so they'll be sifting through that and you know trying to decide which one do we want to tackle first."

The Washington Wine Commission represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in the state.

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