The first efforts focused on risk management. Teams of growers, vintners, WSU extension agents and researchers developed a series of checklists of questions, making the effortan industry-wide grassroots program.
The initial programs grew to become Vinewise.
WHY FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY?
With the rapid growth of the Washington state wine industry, ensuring the future of the industry and the business of growers and vintners are increasingly important.
The Vinewise guide provides the tools to evaluate growers' and vintners' business practices alike to ensure a sustainable future.
Sustainability is the key.
Sustainable viticulture helps ensure that the business of growing grapes and making wine in Washington State can be economically viable, socially supportive, and ecologically sound.
By following sustainable practices, growers can ensure that the interdependent environment, community, industry and their businesses are more likely to be viable for the long term.
Most people know sustainable agriculture protects the environment. It is equally important to understand that sustainability helps ensure the growers' long-term viability. Healthy, growing, and developing businesses allow growers and vintners to focus on other aspects of sustainability.
Most Washington wine grape growers practice some form of sustainable viticulture, whether it be with pest management, soil and nutrient management and/or water management. Vinewise hopes to provide education, knowledge, and resources to Washington growers who want to improve their sustainable practices.
The Vinewise Guide is a series of self-assessment evaluation forms for grape growers, covering specific sustainable viticulture and business topics.
The topics cover the spectrum of sustainability – vineyard practices, the community, the environment and business management. Vinewise continues to develop as the list of topics increase and expand each year.
The formsare designed to allow growers to rate themselves and evaluate their current sustainability in comparison to what they could be doing to be as sustainable as possible within the confines of their vineyard and business plan. Growers can then formulate a plan of action to make the recommended changes.
WAWGG provides seminarsand classes for growers to learn how to use the Guide to evaluate their practices.
Vinewise topics cover the spectrum of sustainability – the environment, the community and business, with new topics introduced each year.