Winerywise, a grant-funded interactive online guide is ready to transform Washington wineries into efficient centers of sustainable enology and business practices, say officials at the Washington Wine Foundation.
The site is officially labeled then "Washington Guide to Sustainable Winemaking Practices," and addresses a spectrum of sustainable winemaking practices and business topics including water management, site development and energy efficiency.
Starting off as a grassroots effort in 2007, Winerywise was created by a sister project to Vinewise, but instead of focused on developing sustainability in the winery and the winemaking process. In today's growing wine industry environment, Winerywise was provided to keep Washington wines and wineries environmentally, socially and economically viable.
For some years now, agriculture has recognized the consumer plus that practicing sustainable business provides. Wine drinkers like knowing the product they are consuming was developed within guidelines that help protect the environment. While the dollar value of this effort is hard to pin down, many in farming today believe there is true economic value in having a sustainable reputation.
In 2010, Winerywise received a Washington State Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant funding through the Washington Wine Industry Foundation of nearly $130,000 which allowed for development of the site, creating state benchmarks while also planning three informational sessions to introduce the online guide, which were held last month.
Winerywise not only acts as a learning and evaluation tool to help wineries achieve sustainable business practices, it also includes concurrent information used for third party certifications with organizations using Low Input Viticulture and Enology.
Additional support for Winerywise is provided by the Washington State Wine Commission, the Washington Wine Technical Group, the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers, and Washington State University, which developed Winerywise for the industry.
The University of Washington worked under a separate grant to develop the health and safety aspects of the guide.
Check out the site at www.winerywise.org, and register to use the free service.