The Washington wine industry is proud to officially launch Sustainable WA, the first statewide certified sustainability program.
Sustainability includes a broad set of science-based practices developed for local conditions and vineyard and winery scale. Objectives include natural resources, watershed protection, soil health, low input farming, employee and community stewardship and climate resiliency.
Sustainable WA covers the pillars of sustainability: environmentally sound, socially equitable, and economically viable. It is a rigorous, science-based program and built with continuous improvement in mind. Sustainable WA was built by and for the industry, specifically for Washington vineyards.
#WAwine is sustainable by nature, certifiably so.
Wine grape growing in Washington is naturally sustainable because many pests, like insects, fungal diseases and weeds don’t flourish here. Our climate and practices help keep pest populations and manageable. Certification is the next step.
Market research shows demand is high for sustainable products and a sustainability program. Steps taken now to incorporate and celebrate sustainable practices will ensure healthy productive vineyards and wineries for generations to come. By participating in Sustainable WA, growers commit to sustainable viticultural practices and are audited by a third party to ensure operations meet established standards. Currently, the program offers a certification option for vineyards with plans to add certification for wineries in the future.
We’re already evergreen. Now, we’re forever green.
20 Years in the Making
Sustainable WA is rooted in an educational sustainability program, Vinewise® and Winerywise™, which was created over two decades ago and intentionally scalable for certification. The program was propelled forward in recent years by an industry group made up of 40+ vintners and growers from across the state.
Sustainable WA was built as a partnership. Washington Winegrowers is the managing entity and oversees the third-party audit and certification process related to the Sustainable WA Winegrape Standard. The Washington State Wine Commission manages the brand and marketing. The Washington Wine Industry Foundation processes funds raised and seeks additional funding through grants and industry, as needed. The Washington Wine Institute communicates industry commitment to sustainability with policymakers.
See below for the full Sustainable WA Winegrape Standard Requirements, Program Manual, Brand & Logo Use Guidelines, a downloadable informational document, and FAQ.
Sustainable WA Resources
Attention Vineyards: Application Information
You must apply online for the program. The program application includes general applicant information, vineyard operation information, and other details that support audit scoping. If you would like to apply to become one of the first Sustainable WA certified vineyards, click here for application.
Note: the first round of audits will launch this summer. There is no limit to the total number of vineyards that can be Sustainable WA certified, but audits will be done in the order in which applications are received and confirmed complete.
The initial application process for first-time or returning program participants is structured to begin in February of each calendar year. This timing aligns with the approach to grower completion of self-assessments documenting vineyard and workforce management practices for the previous crop year, which provides a basis for the third-party audit. Following the initial application, participants will submit a new application once every three years to confirm the scope of the onsite audit and to provide for an increase or decrease in acreage and vineyard blocks enrolled in the program. The Program Administrator reviews submitted applications and once confirmed as complete, and all fees paid, the application is forwarded to the certifier.
Want to self-assess your vineyard before signing up certification? The Sustainable WA program offers a free self-assessment. Go to www.sustainablewa.com. Log in and you will be able to complete the self-assessment and see what mandatory requirements you need to fulfill in order to be certified.
Have more questions about application process? Check out our FAQ.
Research Leads the Way
Contact Heather Bradshaw at [email protected] with any inquires regarding Sustainable WA.