By DAN WHEAT
KENNEWICK, Wash. -- About 2,500 people are expected to attend the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers annual convention at Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, Feb. 5-8.
It is the second largest wine and vineyard industry convention in the nation behind the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Jan. 29-31, in Sacramento, Calif., said Vicky Scharlau, executive director of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers.
Patrick Dobel, professor of public service at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, will conduct an afternoon workshop Feb. 5 on leadership and ethics.
"This is intended for the younger set in our industry and examines how to choose when the line is gray, not black and white," Scharlau said.
As the university's former faculty athletic representative at the PAC 10 and NCAA, Dobel oversaw the academic integrity of the athletic program and governance for eight years.
A red wine tasting the morning of Feb. 6 will be followed by a review of the past year in vineyards by Wade Wolfe, winemaker at Thurston Wolfe Winery, Prosser, and a sales review by Dan Ewer, senior vice president of wine at Young's Market, a national distributor in Kent.
Kevin Pogue, geology professor at Whitman College, will speak about geographic controls on temperatures in the Columbia Basin pertaining to viticulture.
Neil McRoberts, plant pathologist at the University of California-Davis, will talk about human controls of leafroller and other diseases.
Rob McKinney, vice president of operations at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Woodinville, and chairman of the Wine Science Center Development Authority, will speak about the future center.
Other sessions include a refresher course in best winery practices, devising management calendars for vineyards and wineries and immigration reform driving mechanization -- what works and doesn't work.
For more information: www.wawgg.org or (509) 782-8234.