2017 Washington Winegrowers Convention

Washington Winegrowers had another successful annual convention in 2017. Please visit our 2018 Convention page for more information on the 2018 Washington Winegrowers Convention.

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Speaker Presentations

Event Photos

Highlights from the 2017 Washington Winegrowers Convention

Unveiling of a new brand identity

Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers took a critical step in it local, regional and national commitment to advocacy and education. The organization would now be Washington Winegrowers Association.

The name change is part of a comprehensive brand evolution process with the new name, tagline and logo all mission-driven.  According to Todd Newhouse, past Board Chair, “Our aim is to enhance industry performance. Our new name and logo is just part of a larger journey to become even more mission-driven in everything we do, to help members and the broader industry.” 

Honor Reception Recipients

About 2,000 state, national, and international participants from the grape and wine industry attended Washington Winegrower's 2017 Honor Reception. The annual awards includes Grower of the Year, Industry Service, Lifetime Achievement, and a new category, Grand Vin award. 

Erick Hanson Memorial Wine Graper Grower of the Year

Marshall Edwards, vineyard operations manager of Quintessence

Edwards has demonstrated viticultural skills that provide impact in the vineyard and in the bottle. He was played a significant role in some of Washington's largest vineyards- notably for Ste. Michelle where he found success in the challenging terrain at Canoe Ridge Estate in the Hosre Hills. He is a great influence in the way the vineyard is planned and planted. Edwards was the first to use GPS technology to plan new vineyards.

Industry Service

Joy Andersen, winemaker at Snoqualmie Vineyards

Andersen has a pioneering spirit in the wine industry. She was one of the first women in Washington's fledging wine industry in the 1980s and helped pave the way for women. With a degree in chemistry from the University of Washington, she is know for her scientific approach to winemaking. With her passion for research and learning, Andersen has become the go-to-person for questions about organic winemaking and sustainable practices.

Lifetime Achievement

Norm McKibben, managing partner at Pepper Bridge Winery

McKibben is one of the state's most respected experts with over 30 years of experience. He is credited for the boom of Walla Walla Valley's growther from 40 acres to an acclaimed appellation with more than 2,800 acres of premium grapes. As a forward thinker, McKibben is a champion of sustainable viticulture-- all of his vineyards are certified sustainable by VINEA and LIVE. 

Grand Vin

Bob Betz, Betz Family Winery

The Grand Vin awards honoring winery employees or owers who have made significant impace on the winery, the wine, the brand, or the process. Betz has done it all. He has been an intregral part of the Washington wine industry for nearly 40 years. Due to his interest in details and continued knowledge he is constantly challenging his team-- he even runs experiments in the vineyards and winery every year based on leading-edge thinking. Betz has a Master of Wine degree, one of the highest recognitions in the industry.

Poster Session Awards

The latest industry research and information was highlighted during the 2017 Poster session. The session gives students, educators, and researchers to present cutting-edge research and discuss their work with wine and grape industry stakeholders. Posters are judged by industry leaders and prizes are awarded in three categories: Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional.


1st place: Ashley Boren, Washington State University

Virus and Nematode Management in Grapevine for Replant Preparation

2nd place: Corydon Funk, Washington State University

Analysis of Statistical Relationships Between Bioclimatic Indices and Wine Grape Harvest Qualities


1st place: Margaret McCoy, Washington State University

Assessing Sprayer Technology in Washington Vineyards

2nd place: Ben-Ming Chang, Washington State University

Surprise! Water Stress Increases Grape Berry Splitting

3rd place: Caroline Merrell, Washington State University

Impact of Berry Maturity and Wine Alcohol on Phenolic Content in Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah During Simulated Aging


1st place: Lynn Mills, Washington State University

The WSU Cold Hariness Program: Providing Grape Growers with Critical Temperatures and a Prediction Model During Winter

2nd place: Sridhar Jarugula, Washington State University

The Complete Genome Sequence Analysis of Grapevine Leafroll-Associated Virus 1 for Practical Applications in Vineyards

3rd place: Prashant Swamy, Washington State University

Double Whammy: Impacts of Grapevine Leafroll and Red Blotch Diseases in Commercial Vineyards


Undergraduate - Ashley Boren

Graduate - Zachary Cartwright