Winemaking research at Washington State University just got a turbo boost.

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. and Spokane Industries have teamed up to help bring one of the most technologically advanced wine fermentation systems in the world to the Wine Science Center at WSU Tri-Cities, with a generous contribution of $3.2 million toward the $5.3 million fermentation system.

In 2012, the Economic Development Administration provided a $2.06 million grant to bring the fermentation system to WSU. The grant requires a matching contribution, which has now been provided through the generous support of Cypress and Spokane Industries.

“This fermentation system will be a great benefit to the burgeoning wine industry in the Tri-Cities,” said WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Keith Moo-Young. “WSU Tri-Cities enthusiastically supports the world-class Washington wine industry in the region and is thankful for the generous contribution from Cypress and Spokane Industries.”

Ron Mittelhammer, dean of the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, agrees.

“We are fortunate to be working alongside Washington’s world-class growers and winemakers, and this system brings an incredible technical capability to support teaching, research and extension critical to the industry,” Mittelhammer said.

Cypress, a global leader in semiconductor technologies, developed the proprietary, automated wine fermentation system, which is only the second of its kind (the other is at the University of California Davis). Additionally, Cypress provided 384 60-liter and 20-liter stainless steel research tanks, one press, a tank tipper, and other necessary equipment to make the system complete.

“We want our state-of-the-art research equipment to be at the most important enology and viticulture schools,” said T.J. Rodgers, Cypress president. “In California, that means U.C. Davis. In Washington, that means Washington State.” READ MORE