In 1999 Washington State's growing niche wine industry was comprised of 160 wineries. Now in 2011, Washington State boasts 700 wineries, measuring over 437% growth in just twelve years.
With such rapid growth, ensuring the future of the Washington wine industry through sustainable management practices is increasingly important not only to the businesses and their many employees, but increasingly to their impact on the state economy. That's where Winerywise comes in.
A grassroots effort began in late 2007 to develop a companion guide to Vinewise which would be dedicated to sustainable winemaking practices. Dubbed "Winerywise™”, the Washington Guide to Sustainable Winemaking Practices addresses a wide spectrum of sustainable winemaking practices and business topics. In 2010 the WWIF was awarded a WSDA Specialty Crop Block Grant to complete the work already started and launch the guide online including industry training seminars and marketing outreach. Additionally in 2010, the University of Washington was awarded a Labor and Industries SHIP grant to address the health and safety aspects of the Winerywise™ guide.
Coming from a cross section of the Washington wine industry, the Winerywise™ development committee volunteers represent wineries, wine grape growers, researchers, and educators, with support from the Washington Wine Commission, the Washington Wine Technical Group, the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers, Washington State University, and Walla Walla Community College.
Formed in May of 2008, the Winerywise Steering Committee members are:
Joy Andersen, Winemaker Snoqualmie Winery, Winewise Chair
Judith Thoet, Winemaker Sagelands Winery
Nicolas Quille, Winemaker, General Manager Pacific Rim
Shaila Nyborg, Safety & Environmental Manager, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
Tim Henley, Winemaker, Gordon Brothers Winery
Vicky Scharlau, Executive Director, Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers
A team of industry experts works on each Winerywise™ topic, developing the evaluation tools and industry standards. Together, the Winerywise committee is dedicated to creating a comprehensive sustainable practices guide designed to take the Washington state wine industry well into the future.