May 17, 2022

Washington wine industry creates certified program for winegrapes

The state of Washington now has a certified sustainability program for winegrapes, which will start certifying vineyards this summer.

Sustainable WA is a collaboration between the Washington Winegrowers, the Washington State Wine Commission, the Washington Wine Industry Foundation, and Washington Wine Institute.

Sustainable WA is a collaboration between the Washington Winegrowers Association, Washington State Wine Commission, Washington Wine Industry Foundation and Washington Wine Institute. It is designed to signify a commitment to “quality fruit, environmental stewardship and healthy communities,” according to a news release.

“From pest and disease management to sustainable water management, prioritizing worker health and safety and tracking various inputs, this program is environmentally sound, socially equitable and economically viable,” said Katlyn Slone, the program manager of Sustainable WA.

Sustainable WA is the first certified sustainability program built specifically for Washington vineyards. To achieve certification, growers must commit to sustainable viticultural practices and pass a third-party audit to ensure operations meet established standards. After initial certification, Sustainable WA vineyards require an audit every three years during which continual improvement must be shown.

“Sustainable WA is built on the tenet that sustainability is a journey and is dedicated to ongoing evaluation and continual improvement,” Slone said. “It takes a rigorous and balanced look at all pillars of sustainability without leaning too heavily on one. Balance is the priority.”

The program offers certification for vineyards with plans to add certification for wineries in the future. Wineries may utilize the Sustainable WA logo on wine labels to signify the wine is made with certified grapes.

“Data shows the demand for sustainable products to be high,” said Steve Warner, president of the Washington State Wine Commission. “This program is imperative for the future of Washington wine not only to ensure healthy, productive vineyards and wineries for generations to come, but also to remain relevant in the global marketplace.”

Visit the Sustainable WA website for more information.

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