Northwest wine industry meeting to discuss mechanization, Dream Act

By the Tri-City HeraldNovember 19, 2012 

— Immigration reform, how it is driving mechanization and the potential impact of the Dream Act are scheduled agenda items for the 2013 Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers annual convention, which will be held Feb. 5-8 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.

Organizers released the convention program Monday, which outlines several topics designed to address improving quality, according to a news release.

The convention includes a two-day trade show featuring up to 180 booths at the nearby Toyota Center.

Among the panel topics are:

Immigration Reform and How it's Driving Mechanization will begin with an understanding of the impact of the Dream Act, but its main focus will be to explore technology and where it does and doesn't work. Attendees will hear from a panel of growers and winemakers. Costs and cost savings will be reviewed, and information will be shared about what others are doing internationally.

Professional Development session for the Next Generation, which will include Patrick Dobel, John & Marguerite Corbally University Professor of Public Service at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington. He will discuss integrity, management and ethics for building quality industry leadership for the future.

Managing Risks Inside the Winery--Water, Waste, and Safety offers risk management and environmentally conscious winery operations tools to enhance sustainable winery practices, measure, document and demonstrate continuous improvements.

A three-part short course exploring a Year in the Life of a Grape Vine. Attendees will learn how to devise a basic management calendar for both the vineyard and winery and what tools exist to help. Following, a more in-depth look will be taken at: 1) water management in the vineyard, and 2) wine quality management prior to the crush pad.

The poster session also is scheduled to return in 2013. During this session, which includes a progressive lunch, attendees can learn from research posters and discuss a variety of industry-relevant topics with researchers and students.

Registration begins in December for the convention and trade show. The event is open to those interested in the growing of wine grapes or making of wine.

For additional information or to register, visit the WAWGG website at

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