Blended Learning wines made by Washington State University students in the Viticulture & Enology (V&E) program are now available to order online for delivery in Washington state.
The Blended Learning label emerged during the first year that Thomas Henick-Kling, Director of the V&E program, taught this winemaking class.
“It represents the combination of hands-on and classroom learning, and the blending of wines,” he said.
The official label was adopted in 2012.
Each Blended Learning wine is student-made in collaboration with growers and winemakers from Washington State who serve as mentors, and often donate goods and services in support of the project.
For Blended Learning student Andrew Gerow, who was recently named Wine Spectator Wine Science Student of the Year, studying the science of wine was something that happened rather serendipitously.
“I have always loved science and art, and wine-making is a perfect combination of the two,” he said.
The Blended Learning class is taught by V&E faculty Tom Collins and Henick-Kling. The hands-on lab involves tasting wine, discussing grape varieties, and collaborating as a class to develop various projects for the subsequent fall harvest.
The project begins with soliciting grape donations, identifying winemaking partners, and making the wine. Students are then assisted with marketing their wine creation, crafting labels, and finding out how to get their product into the market.
Online wine sales are an ideal platform for students to get their name out to the wine community.
“It’s not just a place for us to sell the wine, it also acts as a platform for us to present our projects to the consumer,” Gerow said. “People will have a better understanding of our product and our story.”
Online sales help promote program
The Blended Learning wine project is made possible with industry support. Donated grapes, bottles and labels offset expenses so revenue from wine sales can support the V&E program.
“This program is important, because Washington is one of the top wine industries in the United States,” said Sandy Saffell, a 1967 WSU alumna and program supporter. “We have fabulous wines, and we need the world to know about it.”
Saffell is on the board of the Yakima Enological Society, and has participated in several WSU wine events.
“I always serve Cougar Gold cheese and Blended Learning wines,” she said.
Although Saffell can drive to the Tri-Cities and pick up the wine, ordering online would be much more convenient.
“I’m hoping this will open the opportunity for people to learn more about Washington state wines, especially from our students,” she…