Why did you decide to certify your vineyards through Sustainable WA?
Sadie Drury (SD): Sustainability has always been incredibly important to all the vineyards our team farms. We were previously certified through other organizations but transitioning to a rigorous Washington focused certification is the best way to step up our game and continue to show our customers and consumers that sustainability matters to us.

What does sustainability mean to you? Do you see this as a way to differentiate your grapes?
SD: Sustainability for me has always been about the three pillars: environmental, social, and economic. I think about sustainability pillars like a tripod, and if one of the legs is too short or too long the tripod will topple over. It doesn’t matter how much we take care of the land if we aren’t creating a safe and profitable place for our employees to work. Sustainable WA is the first certification I’ve seen that really puts equal emphasis on each pillar. I know that being a part of Sustainable WA will create vineyards that will be healthy and viable for many generations.

Why is a certification important to your business?
SD: Having the Sustainable WA certification shows both the wineries who purchase grapes and the consumers who drink the wine that we care about the land we farm, the people who farm it, and creating a business model that will allow the vineyard to have longevity.

Why is it important for WA to have its own certification program?
SD: Washington has a unique growing climate that can’t be duplicated in other states and growing regions in the world. A program that focuses on all the attributes that make up our unique growing region allows Sustainable WA to be the very best program for everyone growing grapes in our state and cross-boarder AVAs.

Why should a winery consider purchasing certified grapes?
SD: Wineries should be purchasing Sustainable WA certified grapes because sustainability certifications matter to everyone involved; from employees in the vineyard to consumers who drink the wine. It shows both the wineries and consumers that extra care was taken in growing the grapes, and that extra care translates to livable wages and safe working conditions for vineyard employees, increased Integrated Pest Management and being mindful of resources like water in the vineyard, and ultimately creating a healthy vineyard in every facet of operations.

This Q&A is part of our Sustainable WA Grower Stories series, which highlights the importance of the Sustainable WA certification program from the perspective of wine grape growers in Washington. Learn more about Sustainable WA at sustainablewa.com, and keep your eye out for the Sustainable WA label on wine bottles signifying a commitment to all aspects of sustainability.

Read // Sustainable WA Grower Stories // Sustainable WA Grower Stories //


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