Watson, Spayd honored by grape industry…
Recently retired Washington State University Extension educator Jack Watson was recognized for his 25 years of service to the Washington wine grape industry during the annual meeting of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers. He received the association’s industry service award for his stable influence and years of education and counsel to the state’s grape growers.
In 1985, he helped organized the first Pacific Northwest grape course, an educational shortcourse for viticulturists. After the winter freeze of 1996, he helped the industry cope with widespread bud and vine kill and brought in experts to teach growers how to retrain their vines.
Watson joined WSU Extension in 1981 as the Benton County Cooperative Extension horticulturist. From 1986 until his retirement last October, he served as the county chair and horticulture agent for Benton County, with responsibilities also in Franklin and Yakima Counties.
Dr. Sara Spayd, Extension food scientist for Washington State University, received the association’s second industry service award for her 25 years of contributions to Washington’s wine industry. Spayd has conducted wine and juice analysis for numerous research projects and, in recent years, collaborated with U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists on sunburn research in red varietals.
She organized the first trained sensory panel for use in wine and juice research, helped organize the Central Washington Wine Tech Group, and was involved in the Yakima Valley Enological Society. Spayd also served as editor of the WSU Grape Research News, a newsletter to keep growers informed of grape research.
Spayd leaves in mid-March to return to her alma mater at North Carolina State University as Extension viticulture specialist, where she will devote 60 percent of her time to Extension duties and 40 percent to research.
Restaurant receives award from wine grape growers…
The Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers presented its Restaurant Appreciation Award to Rhonda and Gene Rosenberger, owners of the Idle Hour and Steakhouse in Quincy, Washington, for their Washington-only wine list and efforts to educate their patrons about Washington wines. The award was made during the group’s annual meeting.
Billing their restaurant as the state’s eastern gateway to wine country, the Rosenbergers host frequent winemaker dinners and annually bring about 50 customers to see vineyards firsthand before combining wine and food. They also hold a wine retail license, and often send wine bottles and cases home with international trade representatives visiting the area.
Stemilt hires merchandising manager in California…
Christine Aguiar, former marketing and promotions manager for the California Pear Advisory Board, has joined Stemilt Growers, Inc., Wenatchee, Washington, as one of the company’s three merchandising managers. She is based in Sacramento, California, and will call on domestic accounts nationwide. Her responsibilities include implementing promotions and developing merchandising plans.
The California Pear Advisory Board promotes fresh and canned Bartlett pears from California. The board also ran retail programs for Bing cherries on behalf of the Cherry Advisory Board.
Aguiar joined the Pear Advisory Board in 1999 as special projects manager. In 2002, she was promoted to marketing and promotions manager. A 1999 graduate of the University of California, Davis, she studied marketing, economics, and animal science.