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Wine Health with Bex Bishop, Winemaker at BX of Napa

dirt

What role does science play in the quality of wine?

Everything, to start with. But finished wine is always the result of nature, science and artistry. Climate, earth, farming techniques, pest control, water supply, and pruning vary year to year. And you have to go pretty darn far back if you really want to get to the "beginning" of this bottle of wine. It doesn't start with the vintage; it starts millenniums ago with the development of the earth the vines finally get to grow in. That's why it is hard (read: not possible) to replicate certain prestigious regions such as my home of Napa Valley, as well as the pride of Bourgogne. Those soils, loam, sand, limestone and volcanic rocks took a lot of action to get there, and then get discovered for what that spot of earth does best. But I'm curious what this esteemed professor has to say... Please update me if you go to this!
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Science of wine is topic of WSU Innovator lecture
SEATTLE - What role does science play in the quality of wine? Thomas Henick-Kling, director of the Washington State University viticulture and enology program, explores this and other questions in "Science in Your Glass,” the WSU Innovators luncheon, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle. 

"Our understanding of all aspects of the winemaking process, from molecules to markets and from vineyards to bottles, underpins the wonderful success of the Washington wine industry,” said Henick-Kling. "This nearly $15 billion industry is an engine of job-creating vitality. I'm excited to be able to share some of the science that makes this all possible.” The unique characteristics of Washington's climate and soil contribute to the distinctive taste of its premium wines. But those same characteristics create challenges and opportunities for growers and winemakers specific to the Pacific Northwest. 

WSU has partnered with state winemakers and growers since the 1960s to engage in cutting-edge research and provide hands-on education for a highly trained and discerning workforce. WSU researchers have helped growers site vineyards and manage irrigation regimes for optimum fruit quality. The university has developed environmentally sound pest and disease management techniques and is helping unlock the chemical mysteries of wine flavor profiles.