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Brad Binko Earns Chile Sabbatical

Tuesday, 16 January 2018 13:39
Brad Binko poured Carmenere and other varieties at recent event in San Francisco Brad Binko poured Carmenere and other varieties at recent event in San Francisco

By Dan Clarke

Walla Walla winemaker Brad Binko is the first recipient of the Powers Sabbatical Award. He will visit Chile in February and March to study growing and vinifying techniques of the Carménère winegrape in that South American country.

The Powers Family Sabbatical award will provide up to $5,000 each year to cover travel expenses for a mid-level industry professional to travel abroad, expand his knowledge about growing or making wine, and then share that learning with colleagues back in the state of Washington. The annual grants are administered by The Washington Wine Industry Foundation (WWIF) on behalf of the Powers family. 

Initial Powers Sabbatical awardée Brad Binko is the owner and head winemaker for two brands: Drink Washington State and Eternal Wines. "The Powers Sabbatical gives me the opportunity to not only experience another country and culture, but also the tools to bring back knowledge that can help the Washington wine industry for years to come,” commented Binko on learning of his selection. Applicants can submit proposals for travel to any of the world’s wine regions, but Binko told Taste Washington Travel he opted for Chile because of his interest in Carménère. The Carménère grape is native to the Medoc, where it was once one of six popular blending grapes in Bordeaux. While the variety is now quite obscure in France, Carménère might be considered the signature grape of Chile, much as Malbec, another variety native to France, has become the hallmark of Argentinian winemaking. The native New Yorker already makes an outstanding Carménère from relatively young Washington grapes, but is particularly intrigued by old vines and says that Chile has plenty in that category. “Also, I wind up telling the story of Carménère about once a day when pouring in the tasting room,” he added.


Editor’s Note: For more on Brad Binko, Drink Washington State and Eternal Wines, see:





About Bill Powers and the Award

billpowers PicmonkeyBill Powers, Washington wine pioneer

Bill Powers, the late owner and general manager of Badger Mountain Vineyard passed away in 2013.  Bill had an insatiable desire to find new and best practices to grow better wine grapes. He was an outspoken and passionate advocate for natural growing methods and in 1990 transitioned his own enterprise to become the first certified organic wine grape vineyard in Washington State. He was later inducted into the Legends of Washington Wine at the Walter Clore Center.

In honor of Bill, his family and associates developed the Bill Powers Sabbatical Fund to enable a degreed professional currently employed in the Washington State grape or wine industry to undertake a sabbatical in an established wine-producing region of the world to learn about an aspect of wine grape growing and/or winemaking that will further their professional career and benefit the Washington grape and wine industry. 

The sabbatical awards up to $5,000 to one individual currently working in the Washington state grape or wine industry with five years of experience in viticulture or enology. Funds may be used for travel, room and board, and other education-related expenses. Recipients are not limited to travel to any particular part of the world.

The Washington Wine Industry Foundation is eager to receive proposals from other wine professionals for subsequent travel study. The deadline for the 2018 Powers Sabbatical is May 1, 2018.  An award is made once per calendar year. More information can be found at http://washingtonwinefoundation.org/scholarships/

Last modified on Tuesday, 16 January 2018 13:39


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