WSU Seminar - Effects of Extreme Climate on Grapes, Wine


Wine and grape industry members and students are invited to a research symposium, “Climate Extremes: Is the Pacific Northwest Wine Industry Ready?” 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday, March 17, in the East Auditorium at Washington State University Tri-Cities.

The sign atop the new Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center is unveiled.

Researchers and industry leaders will discuss climate trends, impacts of extreme weather, solutions for mitigating damage and available resources. The symposium is hosted by the WSU viticulture and enology program.

Registration is $100 per person and includes a social reception to follow. Discounts are available to students on a first come, first served basis with priority given to WSU viticulture and enology students. For more information and to register, go to or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In the Pacific Northwest, recent warmer spring and summer temperatures have led to earlier harvests. The region also has experienced early fall frosts before vines are fully dormant, then generally mild winters (with the exception of several cold snaps this season) followed by sharp declines in temperature through early spring.

Heat and cold extremes can be damaging to grapevines and impact fruit and winemaking decisions. Information presented at the symposium will equip growers to manage vineyards amid these variable conditions.

Speakers will include:

* Hans Schultz, president of Hochschule Geisenheim University in Germany and international expert on grapevine physiology and climate. He has conducted viticulture research in Germany, France, Australia and California.

* Greg Jones, director of the division of business, communication and the environment and professor and research climatologist in environmental science and policy at Southern Oregon University. His research specializes in the climatology of viticulture, with a focus on how climate variation influences vine growth, wine production and the quality of wine produced.

* Markus Keller, WSU professor of viticulture. His research focuses on developmental and environmental factors and vineyard management practices that influence crop physiology of wine and juice grapes.

* Roger Boulton, professor, chemical engineer and Stephen Sinclair Scott Endowed Chair in Enology at the University of California, Davis. He studies the chemical and biochemical engineering aspects of winemaking and distilled spirits production.

* Steve Ghan, climate scientist at the Climate Center, Pacific Northwest National Lab. His research has made important contributions to the influence of complex topography on microclimate and used that understanding to simulate the impact of climate change on mountain snowpack across the Earth.

The symposium is a part of the Ravenholt Lecture Series, which brings grape and wine industry professionals to WSU to share their research and professional perspective. The series is made possible through an endowment from the Albert R. Ravenholt Foundation. Ravenholt, an early pioneer in Washington’s wine industry, was founder of Sagemoor Vineyards.