Auction of Washington Wines Invests in Local Wine Industry

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Washington State University receives $344,500 for viticulture and enology research; SOS Health Services of Walla Walla receives first Industry Grant for $10,000

The Auction of Washington Wines (AWW) today announced two investments in Washington state’s wine industry. AWW, the single largest private donor to WSU’s Viticulture and Enology research program, is awarding $344,500 to WSU’s wine research program and education, as well as $10,000 to SOS Health Services of Walla Walla as part of AWW’s new Industry Grant Program.

AWW has been supporting Washington State University’s wine research program for 11 years, accounting for more than one quarter of the program’s annual funding. This year, AWW’s gift also includes 100 percent of the proceeds from the 3rd annual Private Barrel Auction. "The Auction of Washington Wines provides much-needed support for WSU research, which is foundational for the future of Washington state’s wine industry,” said James Moyer, Associate Dean for Research, CAHNRS, WSU.

In 2017, AWW launched the Industry Grant Program as a new tool to invest in local communities that provide services directly impacting Washington state wine grape growers and wine producers. AWW’s $10,000 Industry Grant to SOS Health Services of Walla Walla, an urgent care facility that provides quality walk-in services to under-insured individuals, will remove barriers and increase local access to health care, especially for those working in the wine industry. "We are beyond honored to receive the Auction of Washington Wines' first-ever Industry Grant. Without healthy staff in the valley, the vines, wines and morale suffer. These funds are critical in order to start solving so many issues both overnight as well as in the long-term,” said Ashley Trout, SOS Board Member.

AWW, now in its 31st year, aims to support the growth and global awareness of the Washington state wine industry. “Investing in WSU’s wine research program and SOS Health Services of Walla Walla is our mission in action,” said Shelley Tomberg, executive director, AWW. “These gifts support Washington wineries and the people behind them, which is what we’re all about.”

The 2018 Auction of Washington Wine events have been announced for August 16-18. For more information, visit

About the Auction of Washington Wines
Since its inception in 1988, AWW has raised more than $41 million, benefitting Seattle Children’s Hospital and Washington State University Wine Science Research. Events hosted by AWW give wine lovers the chance to support the Washington wine industry and families in our communities around the region. The 2018 Auction of Washington Wines will take place August 16-18, 2018. Major sponsors have included Chateau Ste. Michelle, Ferrari of Seattle, The John L. Scott Foundation, The Seattle Times, King 5 TV and Wine Spectator Magazine.

About Washington State University’s Viticulture & Enology Program
The WSU Viticulture & Enology Program is a comprehensive education and research program that prepares students for successful careers in the wine industry and supports the needs of the region’s winemakers and grape growers. Enhanced by world-class faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, the V&E Program takes a hands-on, multidisciplinary approach, offering students technical, scientific, and practical experience. V&E’s cutting-edge research and education helps growers and winemakers cultivate healthy plants and craft wines that express the unique characteristics of Washington’s wine growing regions. In close partnership with an engaged industry, the WSU V&E Program propels Washington wine forward.

About SOS Health Services of Walla Walla
SOS Health Services of Walla Walla was founded in 2000 by a physician who recognized a need for health care for the uninsured in Walla Walla. Since the beginning, SOS Health Services has been a faith-based, non-denominational clinic providing compassionate urgent-care services to people in Southeastern Washington and Northeastern Oregon.

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Hannah Olson