RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — The fermentation system at the new Wine Science Center at Washington State University Tri-Cities will be equal to the equipment at the University of California, Davis, the program director said.
"This cutting-edge fermentation system advances WSU winemaking research by leaps and bounds," said Thomas Henick-Kling, WSU viticulture and enology program director. "It also offers the unique potential for close collaboration with UC Davis because they use the same system."
Researchers at WSU and UC Davis will be able to replicate what the others are doing, which is something that isn't possible with any other research fermentation system in the world, Henick-Kling told the Tri-City Herald for a story Tuesday (http://bit.ly/15SYFTb).
Donations by Cypress Semiconductor Corp. of San Jose, California, and Spokane Industries are bringing the automated wine fermentation system to the research winery.
"We want our state-of-the-art research equipment to be at the most important enology and viticulture schools," said Cypress President and CEO T.J. Rodgers. "In California, that means UC Davis. In Washington, that means Washington State."
Spokane Industries, expert in creating high-quality fermentation tanks for wineries, is providing the 192 sealed stainless steel wine vessels for the system. Each can hold 52 gallons.
WSU researchers will be able to independently control each fermentation tank, heating or cooling it. Temperatures and fermentation data will be collected every 15 seconds and wirelessly sent to a computer for analysis. Winemakers of old might manually take temperature and sugar measurements once a day.
Collaboration by the wine industry, state of Washington, WSU and the Port of Benton have made the $23 million research and teaching center possible.
The grand opening is planned for early June. Classes will start in the fall.
Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com