SEATTLE (March 15, 2022)—The Washington State Wine Commission launched its first-ever farmer ambassador program, Breaking Ground, to amplify the voices of the state’s winegrowing community.
In its inaugural year, the bilingual program follows a cohort of 14 Washington-based farmers throughout the year. Each ambassador will submit a single story—text, audio, or video—to be published on washingtonwine.org each month from March through November. These stories will range from specific aspects of the grape growing process, to what keeps them going during the busy harvest time, what they see on the horizon of the Washington State wine industry, and what it’s like to be a farmer today.
This year’s cohort includes a vineyard manager who oversees 250 picks per season, a foreman who has been in the industry for over 20 years, a Promotora de Salud, or, Community Health Worker, who quite literally is a farmer ambassador, a current PhD student conducting groundbreaking research on Northern root-knot nematodes, viticulturists who are at the edge of their dreams, harvest crew members who grow some of the world’s best grapes, an operations specialist who keeps our vineyard workers safe, and a civil engineer who just can’t find the time to retire.
“We built this program with our farmers over the past six months,” said Bretty Rawson, Digital Programs Manager at the Washington State Wine Commission. “The hope is collective: to change the way we talk and hear about wine by giving the mic to those who work around the clock to make Washington Wine what it is today and tomorrow. You can’t make world-class wine without world-class grapes.”
This voice-driven series and platform is part of Washington Wine’s digital storytelling strategy to share more human-based stories to a wider audience. In-depth interviews with each farmer ambassador are now live on the Breaking Ground landing page on washingtonwine.org, and their monthly stories will start publishing this month.
About the Washington State Wine Commission:
The Washington State Wine Commission (WSWC) represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington State. Guided by an appointed board, WSWC provides a marketing platform to raise positive awareness about the Washington wine industry and generate greater demand for its wines. Funded almost entirely by the industry through assessments based on grape and wine sales, WSWC is a state government agency, established by the legislature in 1987. To learn more, visit www.washingtonwine.org.
Heather Bradshaw, Communications Director, Washington State Wine Commission
(206) 495-5844 / [email protected]
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