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WSU Breaks Ground On Wine Science Center In Tri-Cities

Dignitaries and leaders of the Northwest wine industry braved a drizzle for a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday at Washington State University’s new Wine Science Center in the Tri-Cities.

There are now nearly 800 licensed wineries in the state of Washington, up from about 40 three-decades ago.

Ted Baseler, CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, says the industry is thirsty for trained scientists, salespeople, winemakers and grape growers.

“Every great wine region in the world has a signature institution that supports the wine industry with research, and now we do too.”

So far WSU has raised $19 million for the $23 million center. The facility will house the university’s bachelor's and graduate degrees in Viticulture and Enology.

Construction will begin this month, and it will open in early 2015.

On the Web:

Viticulture and Enology program - Washington State University 

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.