The term sustainability is often associated with environmentally friendly practices; however, Washington winegrape growers, vintners, and business managers know that equally important to the long-term viability of any organization are management practices that are also economically viable and socially supportive.
Sustainability is not a static state to be achieved; sustainable practices will evolve as changes occur internal to a company, and as research and first-hand experience introduce new best-practices.
In short, sustainability is an evolving set of management practices employed to maximize the well-being of a company’s people, planet, and prosperity for the long-term.
Vinewise® and Winerywise™ are Washington State’s online guide to sustainable wine grape growing, winemaking, and business practices for both. This platform has been developed for the industry, by the industry, meaning a steering committee of leading Washington State growers and vintners—supported by the work of Washington State University extension staff and researchers—have developed and/or endorsed the practices and resources within as helpful in maintaining a sustainable balance of people, planet, and prosperity.
To learn more about Vinewise®/Winerywise™, visit the Program Benefits page.
In 2003, The Washington Wine Industry Foundation received a grant from USDA to develop a program helping growers understand and use risk management strategies to better ensure the future of their business. The Foundation brought together a team of industry experts to develop a series of checklists and questions to help growers identify and address risk topics pertinent to their businesses. Topics included: Insurance, Contracts, Human Resources, Business Plans, Marketing Plans, Water Management, and Soil Surface/Soil Management.
In 2008 the Foundation received a grant from WSDA to create an online platform for the risk management program, and Vinewise® was born. The platform included a sustainability self-assessment, checklists, and resources supporting adoption of sustainability best practices.
In 2010, Winerywise™ was created (again thanks to a grant from WSDA) as the winery-focused complement to Vinewise®.
In 2017, the Foundation received funding once again from WSDA to update the content in Vinewise® to ensure the information and resources therein were informing and equipping growers with the most up-to-date best practices in sustainability. The Foundation again employed a team of industry experts to inform the content update, and the platform was re-launched in 2019.