SEATTLE – The Washington wine industry’s annual signature research event—Washington Advancements in Viticulture and Enology (WAVE)—is scheduled for August 10 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser. WAVE, sponsored by the Washington State Wine Commission and Washington State University, will feature the results of recently completed research conducted that studied the effects of harvest and alcohol concentrations on the sensory attributes of red and white wines. Seminar attendees will also participate in sensory evaluation of research wines made as part of the projects.

The unpredictable and extreme weather events of recent years have made it challenging for vintners to find their harvest sweet spot. Last year’s abnormally cold spring temperatures delayed grape ripening and pushed harvest of some varieties into late October, which then runs the risk of early fall frost. In 2021, excessive summer heat impacted some fruit, and stalled and delayed fruit ripening.

Wine grape growers and winemakers attending WAVE will learn how picking decisions and winemaking treatments can impact important sensory attributes of aroma, taste, and mouthfeel in red and white wines. The research seminar will conclude with a wine social hour. Topics covered include:

  • Effect of Harvest and Alcohol Concentration on Wine Chemical and Sensory Attributes – Jim Harbertson, WSU enology professor
  • Impact of Pre- and Post-Fermentation Adjustments of Alcohol – Danielle Fox, WSU Ph.D. candidate 
  • Impact of Acid Timing on Sensory Perception – Jim Harbertson

WAVE is scheduled on the same day as the Washington Viticulture Field Day to encourage growers and vintners to attend both events. The field day, sponsored by WSU and the Washington State Grape Society, is in the morning from 8 am – 11:30 am at the WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser. Pizza lunch is available for purchase from 11:30 am to 1 pm.
WAVE will run from 1:30 pm to 4 pm at the nearby Clore Center.

Register for WAVE here.

Register for Viticulture Field Day

For additional information, contact Melissa Hansen, Research Program Director at

Source: Washington State Wine Commission 

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