Big Donation to Wine Science Center at WSU Tri-Cities to Go Towards a Greenhouse
Patsy J. Mercer, the Mercer Family and Mercer Canyons Inc. today announced a combined donation of $250,000 toward the Wine Science Center under construction at Washington State University Tri-Cities in Richland.
RICHLAND, WA - On Wednesday, Patsy J. Mercer, the Mercer Family and Mercer Canyons Inc. announced a combined donation of $250,000 toward the Wine Science Center under construction at Washington State University Tri-Cities in Richland.
The family's gift will establish the "Bud" Mercer Greenhouse in memory of Milton "Bud" Mercer, Jr. for his pioneering role in Washington agriculture. The gift was announced at the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers Conference held at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.
"The Wine Science Center will play a vital role in the Pacific Northwest as a center for research and education," she added. "It is a fitting tribute to honor Bud's memory by ensuring that the facility has a research greenhouse to support the needs of the Washington wine industry."
Prior to his passing in 2010, Bud and Patsy lived in Prosser and in the Horse Heaven Hills, where he became a leader in the farming business over the course of his life. In 1959, the family founded Mercer Ranches, Inc., which now operates as Mercer Canyons under son Rob Mercer's leadership. Rob and Bud, together with Mike Hogue and Ron Harle, founded Mercer Estates Winery. Bud also was instrumental in creation of the Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center in Prosser.
The research greenhouse, proposed to be named in Bud's memory, will service WSU's viticulture and enology program based at WSU Tri-Cities. The greenhouse will include two 18x22-foot greenhouses attached to a headhouse located adjacent to the Wine Science Center.
Construction started in fall 2013 on the center, a 39,300-square-foot, LEED Silver (environmental building rating) facility in the heart of Washington wine country. The $23 million facility is about 15 percent complete. When it opens in early 2015, it will be the most technologically advanced wine research and education center in the world.