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Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers Announces Annual Awards

ByJoe Connector

Feb 20, 2015

WA Wine Grape GrowersThe Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers announced annual awards for Grower of the Year, Industry Service, Lifetime Achievement, Restaurant Appreciation and Posters at their convention which was held in Kennewick last week.

Awards were:


Robert Rivera, of Goose Ridge Winery received the Erick Hanson Memorial Wine Grape Grower Award for exceptional viticultural skills. Rivera is known for his wealth of experience in the wine industry and his tireless dedication to the betterment of vine structure, canopy management, and all the integral parts that keep a vineyard growing & thriving. Amongst his colleagues, he is recognized for his loyalty, wisdom, and commitment to quality.


Kevin Corliss, of St. Michelle Winery Estates received the Industry Service Award for his tireless dedication on behalf of and for the continual improvement and benefit of the wine grape industry. Since 1983 when he first began at St. Michelle as a lab assistant intern he is now Vice President of Vineyard Operations and his passion for the industry and years of experience has made him one of the most trusted people in the industry.


Rich Wheeler, of St. Michelle Winery Estates received a Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize his outstanding service to the Washington grape and wine industry. Wheeler started his career with St. Michelle in 1979 and retired in 2010 as Vice President of Vineyards. The development of vineyards especially in the Horse Heaven Hills and Red Mountain regions is just one of his accomplishments that he takes pride in especially because of the simple love for planting vines.

Each year a restaurant is selected that does an exceptional job of showcasing and educating diners about Washington wines. This year’s recipient was the Seaview restaurant, 42nd Street Café & Bistro. Serving food to residents, friends and visitors of Oregon’s north and Washington’s south coasts since 1994, the Seattle Times raves that it is “a casual restaurant that is serious about food”. The food is accompanied by an attentive staff and an impeccable wine list that features many of Washington’s best. 


Posters provide an opportunity for students, educators, researchers, and other professionals to present new information and discuss the work they are doing with wine and grape industry stakeholders. Displays provide information on a variety of topics including wine and grape research, wine marketing and promotion, extension and educational outreach, educational class projects, technology transfer, tax and/or assessment funded industry support, or institutional research funding.

Posters were judged by industry stakeholders and prizes were awarded in three categories: Graduate, Undergraduate and Professional.



1st Place:

Trent Ball1, Ray Folwell1, Doug Walsh2 and Naidu Rayapati3

1Agri-Business Consultants, LLC., Prosser, WA 98930, Departments of 2Entomology and 3Plant Pathology, Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, Washington State University, Prosser, WA

TOPIC: Is ‘Grape Virus Tax’ hitting your Pocketbooks?


2nd Place:

Richard C. Larsen1 and Maria M. Mireles1 and James F. Harbertson1

1School of Food Science, Washington State University, Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, Prosser, Washington

TOPIC: Impacts of Grape Maturity and Ethanol Concentration on Wine Tannin Concentration


3rd Place:

Markus Keller1, Laura S. Deyermond1,2, Sushan Ru3, Bhaskar R. Bondada3

1Washington State University, Prosser, Washington, 2Windsor Oaks Vineyards and Winery, Windsor, California, 3Washington State University, Richland, Washington

TOPIC: The ‘Big Vine’ Effect: Why Vigor Declines in Grapevines With High Shoot Numbers




1st Place:

Golnaz Badr and Gerrit Hoogenboom

AgWeatherNet, Washington State University, Prosser, Washington

TOPIC: Site Selection of Vineyards


2nd Place:

Leslie A. Holland1, Gary G. Grove2, Dean A. Glawe1

1Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 2Department of Plant Pathology, Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, Prosser, Washington

TOPIC: A Reassessment of Grapevine Trunk Diseases in Washington State Vineyards


3rd Place:

Zachary M. Cartwright and Charles G. Edwards, School of Food Science, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington

TOPIC: Evaluation of the Survival of Brettanomyces bruxellensis in Grape Pomace




1st Place:

Joe Sperry and Thomas Spotteck

TOPIC: Growth Characteristics, Fruit Composition and Wine Quality of Syrah as a Function of Trellis System


2nd Place (tie):

Leslie Walker1, Basavaraj Bagewadi2, Prashant Swamy2, Andrew Schultz3 and Naidu Rayapati2,*

1Undergraduate Student Intern, V&E Program, WSU-Tri-Cities, Richland, WA, 2Department of Plant Pathology, WSU-IAREC, Prosser, WA and 3Hattrup Farms Inc., Wapato, WA

TOPIC: A new soil-borne virus disease in Washington vineyards


2nd Place (tie):

Brooke Kietzman and Jameson Clark

TOPIC: Riesling – Fining Trials Pre-Fermentation vs Post-Fermentation