College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

WSU’s Voice of the Vine- It’s Not All Talk, Around the World, VEEN

White wine finish: It’s not all talk

WSU sensory scientists used time-intensity methods to measure how different flavors linger.
WSU sensory scientists used time-intensity methods to measure how different flavors linger.

Bringing science to conventional wisdom, a recently published study from Washington State University reveals how different flavors “finish,” or linger, on the palate after a sip of wine.

“A longer finish is associated with a higher quality wine, but what the finish is, of course, makes a huge difference,” said sensory scientist Carolyn Ross. The study, which is one of the first to look at how different flavor components finish when standing alone or interacting with other compounds in white wines, all started with a question from one of Ross’ students in a wine and food sensory science class.

“We were talking about flavor finish and which compounds finish later or earlier,” Ross explained. “I said, well, anecdotally, fruity flavors finish earlier while others, like steak or oak, finish later.”

In a recent article in the journal Food Quality and Preference, Ross writes how her team trained panelists to identify and measure fruity, floral, mushroom, and oaky (or coconut) compounds in wines. They found that, indeed, fruity flavor perception disappears from the palate earlier than oaky, floral, and earth flavors perception. They chose the fruity, floral, mushroom, and oaky compounds to reflect the diversity of the wine aroma wheel.

“There can be hundreds of different flavor compounds in wine,” said former graduate student and co-author, Emily Goodstein. “We wanted to ask: What finishes longer? Are these assumptions really supported? Can we back it up with some sensory data?” Read more.

Read more about the willingness to pay for Washington Chardonnays study at or the latest article on wine finish from Ross’ WSU Sensory Lab team at, which will be in print September 2014. 

– Rachel Webber

Postcards from Colin

The vineyard where I've been working for the last few months.
The vineyard where I’ve been working for the last few months.

Earlier this year we featured, Colin Hickey, a WSU student who helped kickstart the WSU Blended Learning label, then jumped the Atlantic to begin a journey with the Congress-Budestag Youth Exchange program for Young Professionals last July (read story). This month we received word on his latest internship at a winery in Germany: 

Greetings from Bodenheim, Germany! I am almost into my third month here at Weingut Martinshof under Familia Acker. I have had extensive experience so far working mostly in the vineyard, working the bottling line, and labeling. Vineyard work in general has entailed pruning, trellising, row maintenance (wires, wooden end posts, metal middle posts, vine stakes, rubber banding), and removal of old/dead vines and their rows. Thilo, the head winemaker, uses Pendelbogen and Flachbogen trellising systems, mainly to impart quality over quantity in his product.

All of the pruning and trellising is done by hand in a more traditional approach to wine. Varietals that Thilo grows include, but are not limited to, Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris/Grigio), Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir), Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Riesling, Müller Thurgau, Dornfelder, Gold Muskat, Secco (sparkling wine made in Germany using the Italian method), and Chardonnay.

Hiking through the Alps on a trip through Switzerland.
Hiking through the Alps on a trip through Switzerland.

My work on the bottling line has included placing clean, empty bottles on the line, as well as receiving filled bottles and placing them in crates to be labeled later. Throughout this process, constant maintenance of the machinery, refilling of the screw cap dispenser, and coordination with my coworkers was also happening.

There are many moving parts into this process, as the empty bottles are sanitized, filled, injected with CO2, and sealed. Sadly, we don’t use any corks for our wine as most winemakers in the area are moving away from this approach – mainly because of cost and availability of resources. Labeling entails inserting filled, sealed bottles to be cleaned again, glued, and labeled. Finished bottles are then boxed to be later sold to customers.

Gummi Steiflen, or work boots. Only 45 Euro. I've got a lot of use out of these bad boys.
Gummi Steiflen, or work boots. Only 45 Euro. I’ve got a lot of use out of these bad boys.

Weingut Martinshof is mostly managed privately, meaning that most of their wine (95%) is sold privately to returning customers throughout the year.

I will be working here until the end of June, and there is always a lot of work to be done. It is demanding work, but very rewarding. I am given lunch every day and sometimes come home with a bottle or two of our recently bottled wine. I have learned an insane amount in the past two months, and I can’t wait to see what the next two have in store for me.

You can get in touch with Colin at

Snapshots from Australia

As a part of continuing education programs with WSU Viticulture and Enology, more than 20 participants joined director Thomas Henick-Kling on an incredible vineyard and winery tour down under March 30-April 15. Here are a few snapshots from the recent journey through Australia’s wine country:P1-9

  1. Breaking the cap at d’Arenberg winery. A rise of carbon dioxide causes a thick layer of grape skins to build. While it’s often broken with an industrial tool, sometimes boots come in handy, too.
  2. A visit to Morilla Estate with winemaker Conor van der Reest, a young Canadian winemaker from Brock University. The estate also included a visit of the Museum of Old and Modern art, an eclectic collection of Egyptian and diverse modern art.
  3. Snack time. The group had a chance to feed emu, kangaroos, and wallabies at the Cleland Wild Animal Park.
  4. Theresa Beaver, coordinator for the tour and for viticulture and enology certificate programs, presents a thank you bottle of Washington wine to Conor van der Reest.
  5. Overlooking Spring Vale Vineyards with a view to Freycinet Peninsula. Spring Vale was just one 23 wineries and vineyards on the itinerary.
  6. A bright spread of fish and beet chips, garnished with parsley.
  7. The group, which represented about six states from the U.S., at Wine Glass bay, Freycinet Peninsula, NE Tasmania.
  8. At Wirra Wirra, a larger than life wine bottle made of corks stands outside the winery.
  9. A trip along the Great Ocean Road on which the Twelve Apostles stand. Here, participants Randy and Laura Halter walk on the beach. One of the Twelve Apostles is seen in the distance.

The WSU Viticulture and Enology program is currently planning the 2015 trip to Southern France. Stay tuned for more details at

Celebrating 100 Years of Extension

Thomas Henick-Kling talks about the importance of science in the growing and making of a great glass of wine.
Thomas Henick-Kling talks about the importance of science in the growing and making of a great glass of wine.

“Plant a vineyard and open a winery. It will be historic.”

Those were the words of Don Tapio, a WSU County Extension Agent. He said them to Blain and Kim Roberts in April of 2007. By March 29, 2008, the Roberts had opened Westport Winery. It was the first in Grays Harbor, and the western-most vineyard in the state. It is also Wine Press Northwest’s 2011 “Winery to Watch.”

So begins the narrative that Kim Roberts submitted to the Voices of Extension Story Project — part of the yearlong celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Extension.

WSU Extension is asking students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends to share their experiences of how Extension programs, services and people have enriched their lives. The goal is to collect 100 stories. To read other stories or to submit your own, visit

Spring edition of VEEN now available

Spring is finally here. Irrigation is set for full allotment this summer, buds are swelling, vines are bleeding, and the inevitable vineyard-tripping-due-to-badger-holes has commenced. It is good to shake off that winter dormancy.VEEN

This issue of VEEN is an eclectic mix of rules and research, theory and practice. Washington’s grape quarantines are explained and a highlight of how the Clean Plant Center-Northwest is keeping our Foundation Grapes clean is presented. Canopy management and mite resistance management research by two recent graduates are discussed, as well as ground-breaking information on how “native” yeasts can be put to good use in the vineyard. Weather from 2013 is explained and questions on irrigating different soils are answered. We also have part one of a two-part series on fruit and wine acidity. Read all about it, here.










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 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.


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.  


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.

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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.

CAHNRS Office of Research

Hulbert Hall 403
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Pullman, WA 99164-6240
PH: 509-335-4563
FAX: 509-335-6751

Alumni & Friends

Holiday Hours & End-Of-Year Giving

It’s that time of year again—time for sharing merry moments with family and friends. As you prepare for the holidays, consider these year-end giving tips below. We know how important the last few days of 2015 will be for meeting tax deadlines, and we are here to help make the process as easy as possible.

Please note the WSU Foundation’s hours of operation through the end of the year:

Dec. 2 – Dec. 23: Normal operation (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Dec. 28 – 31: Although Washington State University and the WSU Foundation will be closed, WSU Foundation gift accounting and gift planning staff will be available by phone from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. throughout this week. If you would like to give a gift of appreciated stock or discuss your year-end giving plans to benefit WSU, please call 1-800-448-2978.

Making a gift online using the WSU Foundation’s secure site is an easy way to make your year-end gift using a credit or debit card any time, day or night. Note: Online gifts may be made as late as 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31 to receive tax credit for 2015.

Thank you for your generous support of Washington State University throughout the year. Have a wonderful holiday season!

Year-end Giving Tips:

Remember, only gifts made by Dec. 31 can help reduce your 2015 taxable income. Please keep the following in mind and consult your tax advisor for specific details.

To Receive 2015 Tax Credit:

  • Make sure your gift is dated and postmarked no later than Dec. 31, 2015.
  • Complete your online gift on or before 11:59 p.m. (PST) on Dec. 31, 2015. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.


The date you deliver or mail your donation is generally recognized as the gift date for tax purposes. Please note, the date on the actual check or money order is not recognized by the IRS as proof of your intent to give on a particular date. Gifts by check or money order may be mailed to:

WSU Foundation
PO Box 641927
Pullman, WA 99164-1927

Note: Gifts may be hand-delivered to the WSU Foundation Town Centre Suite 201 during hours of operation.

Credit Cards:

The date your account is debited is considered the date of the donation. In order to receive a 2015 charitable income tax deduction, credit card gifts must be processed against your account in 2015. Please make sure to make your gift online using your Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.

Have your stocks gone up in value this year? Consider making a simple and tax-wise gift of appreciated stock. Please note that mutual fund shares may take several weeks to transfer, and the gift is not considered complete until the shares are received in the WSU Foundation’s account. To give the University stock or discuss your year-end gift to WSU, please call 1-800-448-2978.

Contact Us

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

Faculty & Staff

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

Lisa Johnson:
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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.