College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Voice of the Vine – Tour, Workshop, Lab Manual – Jan. 24, 2013

Chelan Wine Tour Offers Continuing Education for Grape Growers and Winemakers

“You need a lifetime or more to learn everything about winemaking,” said Judy Phelps, standing among plastic tubs and oak casks containing grapes at various stages of becoming wine. Phelps, winemaker at Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards in Chelan, Washington, was sharing some of her life’s enological experience.

Keith Thurman (left) and viticulture and enology program director Thomas Henick-Kling listen to the winemaker of Tsillan Cellars Winery and Vineyards explain the challenges of selling wine in Washington. Photo by Bob Hoffmann/WSU.
Keith Thurman (left) and viticulture and enology program director Thomas Henick-Kling listen to the winemaker of Tsillan Cellars Winery and Vineyards explain the challenges of selling wine in Washington. Photo by Bob Hoffmann/WSU.

And Lana Getubig, a 2009 graduate of WSU’s online viticulture professional certificate program, was drinking it up. She and other students and alumni of the viticulture and enology certificate programs took a weekend in November to further their education, traversing the wine country around Lake Chelan in north-central Washington. The tour is one of many opportunities offered by WSU for grape growers and winemakers—veteran, novice, and aspirational alike—to network and share knowledge.

Participants were able to ask established professionals about seemingly mundane details that could have significant repercussions. One notable detail at Hard Row to Hoe was the floor of the wine cellar. A thin, shiny epoxy-and-sand mixture coated the slab on which the building sat. “Grape juice and wine eat concrete,” explained Phelps. The special coating provides both protection to the concrete floor and traction for workers.

Judy’s husband, Don, took the group to the vineyard for insights on his area of expertise. “The slopes of our vineyard help cold air pass through without settling,” he said. The leaves of his vines had lost most of their green pigmentation and, although faded to a muted yellow, remained undamaged by the November cold. He pointed, by way of contrast, to a neighbor’s vineyard on a flat spot at the bottom of a slope. That site allowed cold air to pool, and the leaves there were coated with a layer of frost. Poor site selection shortened the neighbor’s growing season and negatively impacted the quality of grapes.

Once a vineyard site is selected, young vines need proper care, Phelps told the students. “We often hear that grape vines need to struggle, but that doesn’t apply to young vines. They need water to become established.”

Julie Pittsinger of Karma Vineyards talks with viticulture certificate student David McKeller about making sparkling wine with the traditional Methode Champenoise. Photo by Bob Hoffmann/WSU.
Julie Pittsinger of Karma Vineyards talks with viticulture certificate student David McKeller about making sparkling wine with the traditional Methode Champenoise. Photo by Bob Hoffmann/WSU.

After visiting the tasting room, the group continued on to visit other wine producers, including Tildio Winery, with its sweeping view of Roses Lake and the North Cascades Wilderness. Katy and Milum Perry purchased the property in 2001. Katy already had considerable experience in winemaking, including stints at Robert Mondavi and Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Their fermentation room, with its stainless steel tanks, was heated to 60 degrees Fahrenheit for the benefit of malolactic fermentation. Tildio was bullish on using co-inoculation with yeast and malolactic bacteria. “I used to stay away from co-inoculation,” said Katy Perry, “but I’m starting to fall in love with it because of the finished product.” When one student asked about the labor-saving benefits of co-inoculation, Perry said that such labor savings weren’t a motivator for the owner/operator of a small winery such as herself. “Labor savings are inconsequential if the final product isn’t good.”

After a full day of touring and wine tasting, program participants gathered at Campbell’s Resort for a buffet dinner featuring wines produced by the students and alumni of the program. This offered an opportunity for group critiques, as well as a gratis evaluation by WSU’s viticulture and enology program director, Thomas Henick-Kling. Henick-Kling enjoyed the Syrah brought by Leala Cramer, winemaker at Marcus Sophia Winery and a 2008 graduate of the enology certificate program. Her winemaking style uses a gentle press of the grapes, creating a smooth, rich mouth feel. “Continue to make batches with the light press,” Henick-Kling advised her, “but also try a separate batch where you press harder for more tannin. This will produce wine with a different style. And don’t worry about too much tannin in Washington State. Washington tannins usually ripen enough to provide a good mouth feel.”

Henick-Kling said that wine tours for continuing education are vital not just for newcomers to the trade but for the entire industry. “The established wineries also benefit from hearing new ideas,” he noted. WSU has already hosted other tours within Washington as well as to Chile, Argentina, and New Zealand. An upcoming tour to Italy is sold out, and a summer trip to France is in the planning stages. Henick-Kling also hopes to bring winemakers from abroad to tour Washington, providing yet another opportunity for winemakers to network and trade tips and techniques. Henick-Kling said that these trips are designed for people interested in the inner workings of the wine industry, and are not casual wine-tasting sojourns. “We seek out wineries with staff who can articulate the specifics of their geographical region and the local winemaking techniques, and aren’t just trying to sell a few bottles in the tasting room. With our research, planning, and long-term relationships, we can provide an experience that would be difficult for an individual to arrange.”

Cramer eagerly agreed. “The organized tour gives access to the ‘back room’ of wineries that wouldn’t be available to someone just stopping by the tasting room.”

Michael Burns, who just started the enology certificate program, also valued the experience. “I love hearing the real-life stories. Everyone will have challenges with growing grapes and making wine, so it’s great to hear how others got started and what they did to get where they are.”

Learn more about WSU’s professional certificate programs in viticulture and enology by visiting

-Bob Hoffmann

“Vine to Wine” Workshop Teaches Business, Production Techniques

"Vine to Wine" workshop is slated for April 21-22 in Prosser. Photo by David Wilbanks.
“Vine to Wine” workshop is slated for April 21-22 in Prosser. Photo by David Wilbanks (

WSU, in collaboration with wine-industry professionals, is offering a two-day intensive “Vine to Wine” workshop, 20-21 April in Prosser. The workshop is recommended for anyone thinking about starting a vineyard or winery, or for those who have recently entered the Washington wine industry. The goal of the workshop is to educate potential and new growers and winemakers in the essentials of economic and environmentally sustainable high-quality grape and wine production practices.

Starting a vineyard or winery is a big investment requiring extensive financial, marketing, and horticultural planning. On Day One of the workshop, participants learn the ins and outs of vineyard and business establishment and management. The economics of starting a vineyard along with the principles of site selection, establishment, and sustainable grape production will be addressed.

On the second day of the workshop, Washington winemakers and wine educators will address the basics of winery design and equipment, what to look for in grapes, fermentation science, the science of red and white winemaking, and the economics of establishing and running a winery.

The workshop will be held at the Best Western Inn at Horse Heaven Hills in Prosser. Seats are limited and pre-registration is required. The cost is $60 for one day, or $100 for both days. Registration includes snacks, beverage, and catered hot lunches, and a social on Saturday night. Registration also includes a digital copy of presented information.

For more information and to register, please visit

Updated Lab Manual for Winemakers Now Available

WSU professor of enology, Charles Edwards, and Bruce Watson, retired wine quality manager, have teamed up to rewrite “Basic Microbiological and Chemical Analyses for Wine.”

The newly revised and expanded wine lab manual is for people wishing to conduct general laboratory analyses of grape musts and wines. Determinations of sugar, sulfur dioxide, titratable and volatile acidities, pH, and alcohol content are integral measurements performed by both commercial and home winemakers. While these determinations allow chemical adjustments to musts and wines, they are also critical for compliance with state and federal laws regarding wine composition (that includes alcohol content, volatile acidity, and sulfur dioxide).

One area that the authors have tried to address throughout the manual is the question of quality assurance regarding laboratory results. Wine statistics are notoriously difficult to compare between wineries due to variability in methods and practices between laboratories. In fact, wineries occasionally encounter difficulty in obtaining reproducible results even within the same laboratory. In this manual, the authors have suggested some controls that may help wineries address these issues, while reminding readers that the opportunity exists for more work to be done in this area.

Order your downloadable copy of the new lab manual for winemakers by visiting

Leave a Reply

Neither your email address nor comment will be published. Required fields are marked *

CAHNRS is more than agriculture. With 24 majors, 19 minors, and 27 graduate level programs, we are one of the largest, most diverse colleges at WSU. CAHNRS Cougs are making a difference in the wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities, improving ecological and economic systems, and advancing agricultural sciences.



CAHNRS students are awarded more than $600,000 in scholarships annually.


CAHNRS leads in discovery through its high-quality research programs. In 2014, CAHNRS received research funding exceeding $81.5M. This accounts for nearly 40% of all research funding received by WSU.  


CAHNRS has 39 student clubs and organizations to enhance student experiences and opportunities.


With 24 majors, 19 minors, and 27 graduate level programs, CAHNRS is one of the largest, most diverse colleges at WSU.


Fall undergradsUndergraduate Studies

Check out every department and program CAHNRS has to offer, from Interior Design to Agriculture to Wildlife Ecology. We have 13 departments and schools to prepare you for your chosen career.

Grad student dogGraduate Studies

Students have a variety of options to pursue masters and doctoral degrees. Many of these have very specific background requirements, so we suggest exploring the individual programs for academic guidelines.

CTLLCenter for
Learning & Leadership

The CTLL is a student, faculty, alumni and industry partner collaboration for high quality learning and leadership beyond the classroom.


Inspiring Teamwork - Arron Carter pic

Inspiring Teamwork – Arron Carter

It started with a car, a ’69 Corvette Stingray to be exact.

When Arron Carter, the director of the Washington State University Winter Wheat Breeding Program, was in high school his agricultural teacher had a ’69 Corvette Stingray. Every year this teacher would let his favorite senior take the car to senior prom. Carter had never taken an agriculture class before, but he knew he wanted to drive that car.

“Well, if I’m going to be the favorite senior,” Carter said to himself, “I’d better start taking some ag classes.”…

Read More: Inspiring Teamwork – Arron Carter


CAHNRS Office of Research

Agricultural Research Center

Mission Statement

The goal of the Washington State University CAHNRS Office of Research is to promote research beneficial to the citizens of Washington. The Office of Research recognizes its unique land-grant research mission to the people of Washington and their increasing global connections. The CAHNRS Office of Research provides leadership in discovering and applying knowledge through high-quality research that contributes to a safe and abundant food, fiber, and energy supply while enhancing the sustainability of agricultural and natural resource systems.

Featured Research

sliced pear

Research for specialty crops boosted by $1.7 million

More than $1.7 million was awarded to Washington State University for specialty crop research including berries, potatoes, grapes, tree fruit, onions, carrots and Christmas trees.
Western bluebird with cricket. Photo by flickr user Kevin Cole.

Weighing the benefits, risks of wild birds on organic farms

Washington State University researchers will help organic growers protect human health by assessing the risks and benefits of wild birds on organic farms. Researchers received nearly $2 million from the USDA Organic Research and Extension Initiative to conduct the study.
Moyer Testimony 9.29.15

VIDEO: Jim Moyer testifies on specialty crop research before House Agriculture Committee

Jim Moyer, associate dean of research for CAHNRS and director of the Agricultural Research Center at WSU, presented specialty crop research innovations in Washington, D.C. this fall.
Winter Wheat May 2014 by McFarland

‘A quiet crisis’: The rise of acidic soil in Washington

Gary Wegner first noticed the problem in 1991, when a field on his family’s farm west of Spokane produced one-fourth the usual amount of wheat. Lab tests revealed a surprising result: the soil had become acidic.

Study: Small railroads important but costly to upgrade

More than half of Washington’s short-line rail miles aren’t up to modern standards, according to a recent study by the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Washington State University Freight Policy Transportation Institute.
A grizzly bear with her cubs at the WSU bear center.

Single hair shows researchers what a bear has been eating

By looking at a single hair, U.S. and Canadian researchers can get a good idea of a grizzly bear’s diet over several months.


With 39 locations throughout the state, WSU Extension is the front door to the University. Extension builds the capacity of individual, organization, businesses and communities, empowering them to find solutions for local issues and to improve their quality of life. Extension collaborates with communities to create a culture of life-long learning and is recognized for its accessible, learner-centered, relevant, high-quality, unbiased educational programs.

MudflatImpact: Burrowing Shrimp and Invasive Eelgrass

Shellfish production in Washington is a $60 million a year industry. Several major pests plague this industry, resulting in major crop loss. One of the most important pests is subterranean burrowing shrimp. These shrimp bioturbate (stir up) the sediment, causing the oysters to sink and die. For the past 60 years the industry has been using the insecticide Sevin to control this pest, but due to lawsuits its use was phased out in 2012. Without alternative control for shrimp, tens of millions of dollars in annual crop revenue will be lost and the industry will quickly lose its economic viability in southwestern Washington.

PoultryFarmImpact: The National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center

The Environmental Protection Agency has identified agriculture as the leading contributor of pollutants to the nation’s rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs. These reports often do not separate animal agriculture from other agricultural enterprises, but they do note that pathogens, nutrients, and oxygen-depleting substances associated with manure are three of the top five pollutants. Some emerging issues related to manure management include: endocrine disruptors (hormones), pharmaceuticals (antimicrobials), and antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Adopting farm practices that minimize the environmental impact is important for food safety.

BiosolidsImpact: Biosolids and Compost

Biosolids are the solids produced during municipal wastewater treatment. Composts are made from a variety of organic materials, including both urban and agriculture sources such as yard trimmings, biosolids, storm debris, food waste or manure, and food processing residues. While these materials have traditionally been viewed as waste, they can play a valuable role as soil amendments in urban and agricultural settings. They provide nutrients and organic matter and they sequester carbon, thereby conserving resources, restoring soils, and combating climate change.

Click to see the many ways
that WSU Extension benefits
your community and the state.

Alumni & Friends

What are you thankful for?

This holiday season, we know who we are thankful for—YOU!
Our family, friends, supporters, and alumni are so important to CAHNRS.
We have created a video that helps explain why.

You were an integral part in helping us complete the successful
Campaign for Washington State University: Because the World Needs Big Ideas.
Over 9,700 donors contributed more than $250 million to CAHNRS,
a quarter of the WSU Campaign goal of $1 billion.
Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today. And for that, we thank you.

Your friends in the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Contact Us

CAHNRS Alumni & Development
PO Box 646228
Pullman, WA 99164-6228
PH: 509-335-2243

Faculty & Staff

Important Dates and Deadlines

August 24, 2015

  • Tenure and Promotion Documents need to be submitted to the Dean’s Office

September 10, 2015

  • Fall Festival


A-Z Index of Faculty and Staff Resources:

  • Click letters to sort alphabetically
  • Click individual items to view or download

Contact Dean’s Office:
Hulbert 421
PO Box 646242
Pullman WA 99164-6242

Lisa Johnson:
Assistant to the Dean
Hulbert 421C
PO Box 646242
Pullman WA 99164-6242

How many varieties of wheat has WSU developed?



Sentence or two with more info about the subject.