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 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.  

The Rock Doc

Dr. Kirsten Peters

The Rock Doc is a nationally syndicated newspaper column written by Dr. Kirsten Peters, covering many scientific and research related topics in a upbeat and entertaining fashion. Dr. Peter’s humor and anecdotes help to bring these stories to a public audience by showing how they affect everyday life. The most recent articles are linked below.


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.

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

By Rebecca Phillips

Bad news in the media got you down? News consumers have only themselves to blame, says new research showing that it’s actually buying habits that drive negative press.

The research looks at the negative news phenomenon through the prism of economic science. And while previous studies have focused on the supply side by examining media output, this analysis is among the first to investigate a negative news bias from the consumer or demand side. MORE

By Sylvia Kantor

Pullman, Wash. – You generally don’t find livestock among the hills of the Palouse region of eastern Washington where grain is grown. But wheat farmers Eric and Sheryl Zakarison are changing that – and making a profit.

On 100 of their 1,300 family owned acres, they are experimenting with a rather unconventional scheme for the region – growing wheat, peas, perennial grasses like alfalfa and sheep in a tightly integrated system. MORE



By Scott Weybright

The watermelon crop has declined dramatically in Washington because of disease. But Washington State University researchers are developing a solution that involves grafting watermelon plants onto squash and other vine plant rootstocks.

“We’ve lost about a third of our state’s watermelon production over the last 10 years because of Verticillium wilt,” said Carol Miles, a professor of vegetable horticulture at the WSU Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center in Mount Vernon. “Growers have switched to other crops that are less susceptible.” MORE

Robby Rosenman

By Sylvia Kantor

Gender and personality matter in how people cope with physical and mental illness, according to a paper by a Washington State University scientist and colleagues at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

Men are less affected by a single-symptom illness than women, but are more affected when more than one symptom is present. The number of symptoms doesn’t change how women are affected, according to Robert Rosenman, WSU professor in the Department of Economic Sciences. MORE


Conservation buffers please the eye, protect the landscape, says WSU researcher

By Seth Truscott

PULLMAN, Wash. – Researchers know that adding natural buffers to the farm landscape can stop soil from vanishing. Now a scientist at Washington State University has found that more buffers are better, both for pleasing the eye and slowing erosion.
Linda Klein, a recent doctoral graduate in WSU’s School of the Environment, worked with six other researchers at the university, plus one at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Moscow (Idaho) Forestry Sciences Laboratory, to explore the role that buffers – strips or clumps of shrubs, trees and natural vegetation – play in the landscape and in people’s visual preferences.
Klein surveyed Whitman County residents to see if conservation features made for more scenic fields and valleys. She found that Palouse residents prefer more nature with their wheat fields.MORE


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

The WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) Office of Alumni & Friends is a service unit dedicated to promoting philanthropic support for the college’s research, teaching, and extension programs.

CAHNRS seeks $190 million through the Campaign for WSU. This unprecedented fundraising goal is managed through the CAHNRS Office of Alumni and Friends. If you would like to learn more about the CAHNRS’s fundraising priorities, please explore our website or meet the team.

Funding Priorities

Through the Campaign for Washington State University, CAHNRS and WSU Extension will play a major role in defining answers to complex issues through truly big ideas—feeding the world, powering the planet, and ensuring the health and well-being of children, families, and communities. See below to learn more about how we are addressing these issues in our strategic and on-going  initiatives and development of world-class students.

Pulse Crops
Mary Kay Patton
Learning & Leadership (CTLL)
Tree Fruit

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


Faculty & Staff

Important Dates and Deadlines

March 26, 2015
  • CAHNRS Honors – SEL Event Center
March 26-27, 2015
  • Spring NBOA – Ensminger

April 6, 2015

  • Signed Faculty and AP Annual Reviews
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

Washington State University

How many varieties of wheat has WSU developed?



Sentence or two with more info about the subject.