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“Superior quality by design” is the theme for the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers’s annual convention and trade show scheduled for February 5-8 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.

The four-day event includes the following highlights:

  • Professional development for the “next generation” – Patrick Dobel and John and Marguerite Corbally of the University of Washington will discuss integrity, management, and ethics for building industry leadership for the future. As UW’s faculty athletic representative at the PAC 10 and NCAA, Dobel oversaw the academic integrity of the athletic program and governance for eight years.
  • Managing risks inside the winery – a refresher course on best practices for winery water, wastewater use, and employee safety.
  • A three-part short course explores a year in the life of a grapevine – how to devise a basic management calendar for the vineyard and winery, and what tools exist to help, with a focus on vineyard water management and wine quality management before the crush pad. The session is intended to provide a greater understanding of the growing season, necessity of water in the vineyard, and viticultural practices that can permanently enhance or detract from wine quality.
  • Panel discussion on immigration reform and how it’s driving mechanization – growers and winemakers will share their experiences with new technology, what works and what doesn’t, costs, and cost savings.

The annual meeting also includes a poster session where growers and vintners can discuss industry topics with researchers and students.

The event is open to those interested in growing wine grapes or making wine. For information, call WAWGG at (509) 782-8234 or visit www.wawgg.org.