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Dr. Thomas Burr talks about crown gall disease Jan. 19, 2016, at the inaugural Ravenholt Lecture Series at Washington State University Tri-Cities. <b>(Courtesy Maegan Murray, Washington State University)</b>

Dr. Thomas Burr talks about crown gall disease Jan. 19, 2016, at the inaugural Ravenholt Lecture Series at Washington State University Tri-Cities. (Courtesy Maegan Murray, Washington State University)

The crown gall workshop hosted by Washington State University Tri-Cities in January marked the inaugural event in the Ravenholt Lecture Series, made possible by a posthumous donation from the Albert Victor Ravenholt Foundation.

Albert Ravenholt was a founding partner in Sagemoor Vineyards in Pasco, Washington, in the early 1970s, establishing vineyards where no industry existed.

Ravenholt died in 2010 at the age of 90, after a long career that included serving as a war correspondent for United Press International during World War II and, later, UPI bureau chief in China, and three decades as a fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs.

Following his death, the remaining Sagemoor partners sold the vineyards to Allan Brothers of Naches.
Ravenholt’s surviving family members manage his foundation and donated $400,000 to the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center and $100,000 to endow a lecture series for the WSU Viticulture and Enology program.

Kent Waliser, general manager of Sagemoor Vineyards, knew Ravenholt for the last eight years of his life.

At the event, Waliser said to those gathered, “My privilege was to know him. Your privilege is to benefit from his surviving estate.

“It is my hope that, through this gift, our industry can bring to Washington many speakers from all over the world so that we may learn from them and they from us,” Waliser said. “We will create ambassadors for Washington wine.” •

– by Shannon Dininny