“I’ve decided that Fridays are now #FarmerFriday,” Sadie Drury announced on Instagram on April 23, 2021, “and each week, I’ll be introducing a different person on our team from now until harvest.” She started with Leobardo “Lupe” Gomez, the most senior member of the North Slope Management team, who started working for Norm McKibben in the early 1990s at Whiskey Creek Vineyard.

A mustached man with sunglasses, black hat, and green button-up shirt smiles stands in front of vines without leaves.
Leobardo “Lupe” Gomez (PC Sadie Drury)

“Lupe is the backbone of our team and leads the crew with great skills and expertise,” Drury wrote in her post that featured Lupe. “He planted Seven Hills Vineyard in 1997 and knows all the ins and outs of this place. He has also helped plant another 600+ acres in the SeVein development.”

The beautiful thing about this organic spotlight—Sadie has now featured 15 of her crew members—is just how human it all is. Speaking about Lupe, Drury writes, “I’ve never met anyone who works as hard as Lupe, and my attempts to convince him to slow down haven’t worked too well. Lupe and I spend our days calling each other back and forth and making almost every major decision together. I’ve learned so much from him and I’m grateful to work with someone who wants to learn and grow, too.”

A woman with long dark hair and a grey jacket smiles and stand in front of grape vines without leaves, which are out of focus.
Sadie Drury, Vineyard Manager, North Slope Management

In her first post, Sadie joked that her “crew is going to be running when they see me coming with my camera,” but when we spoke with Sadie the other day, now four months into her features, she said the reaction has actually been the opposite. That her crew is, if anything, excited for Farmer Fridays. And not just to be featured, but to see their fellow crew members in the limelight and being recognized for the work they do, day in and out, in the Washington Wine industry. How many farmers have Sadie featured from April until July?

A collage of 12 images of people smiling and standing in front of vineyards,
From left to right: Leobardo “Lupe” Gomez, Rosanna Lugo, Jared Funk, Sadie Drury, Efren and Claudio Escoto, Carla Negrete, Fracisco Hernandez, Rafael Melgoza, Alejando, Jose, and Angel Escoto, Irma and Jose Pastor Diaz, Tommy Bigelow, and Salome Ortiz

If there’s anything that Sadie’s “Farmer Friday” posts say, it’s that wine is a human experience. Her posts, which are short features—usually a few sentences long—but they showcase the heartbeat of this industry and community: those who work on the ground, day in and out. You’ll get to meet Viticulture Technicians, HR Specialists, Irrigation Managers, Crew Supervisors, Tractor Drivers, and so much more. Make sure to follow Sadie at @vitnerd, so you know who to thank for your next glass of WA wine. Though she only posts these once a week, you won’t get tired of anything she does on social, as Sadie just so happens to be a burgeoning photographer as well, capturing the everyday, and ordinary, beauty of WA Wine Country.

Green grape vines spread out toward tab foothills in the distance. Wind machines and small buildings dot the landscape.
Margarets Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley

We worked with Sadie to take Farmer Friday and put it on a WA Wine level, and are so glad to be able to tell these farmers’ stories. We hope you’ll stay with us as we shine a light each week on the individuals steward our grapes, and make Washington Wine what it is today.

If you are a farmer in Washington State interested in participating in our Farmer Friday series, reach out to Bretty Rawson at brawson@washingtonwine.org.

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