Wilridge Vineyard, Winery & Distillery
Certified Organic & Biodynamic
Wilridge is the first and still the only certified Organic and Biodynamic Vineyard, Winery & Distillery in Washington State. Wilridge was first certified Organic and Biodynamic in 2007 and has remained committed to these strict standards ever since.
Why Organic, why Biodynamic?
“Look for wines that are declared on the label to be either Organically or Biodynamically cultivated. Why? Because, as a cohort, Organic and Biodynamic producers tend to be more rigorous and more committed to making genuinely fine wine. It’s a useful shorthand.”
Why did Wilridge become the first certified Organic and BiodynamicVineyard, Winery & Distillery in Washington State? Wilridge’s reason for existence is to create some of the best wines and spirits in the world. Wilridge first pursued Organic and Biodynamic certification in its quest for quality. Simply put, the best wines in the world come from Organic and Biodynamic vineyards.
Another reason is that Washington State is as close to a perfect place to grow grapes organically as there is on planet earth. Wilridge’s Estate Vineyard and Orchard is in the Naches Heights AVA and protected by the Cascade mountain range. The Naches Heights AVA receives over 300 days of sunshine per year and so little precipitation during the growing season that the grapes, pears and apples have to be irrigated. This means Wilridge has total control of the water supply for its vines and trees and therefore total control of their growth. With little to no rain during the growing season, Wilridge does not have to spray the harsh chemicals conventional and so called "sustainable" vineyards do. With little or no rain during harvest, Wilridge does not have to worry about the vintage being ruined by rot as do vignerons in wetter regions such as Burgundy and Bordeaux. Therefore, the question should not be: “Why is Wilridge certified Organic and Biodynamic?" It should be: "Why aren’t more vineyards in Eastern Washington wine country doing the same?" For instance, who would not want to be on this list of Biodynamic producers:
Chateau La Tour Figeac
Coulee de Serrant
Wilridge Vineyard, Winery & Distillery
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The only downside of going organic in Eastern Washington is ironically also due to Eastern Washington’s ideal climate for agriculture. Naches Heights is a perfect place to grow grapes and tree fruit – which means it’s also a perfect place to grow weeds. Wilridge’s certified Organic and Biodynamic Vineyard and Orchard is a paradise for grapes, trees and weeds. Because Wilridge refuses to use Round Up, other glyphosates, or any other herbicide, the entire vineyard and entire orchard are hand weeded on a regular basis. The extra labor required to fight weeds is one of the reasons it is more expensive to make organic wines than conventional wines. Even though Wilridge saves by not buying chemical herbicides, pesticides or fungicides, it is still more expensive to grow grapes organically. However, Wilridge has proven that is possible to establish a successful Organic and Biodynamic Vineyard and Orchard in Washington State despite the added expense.
“Bragging that you have a sustainable vineyard is like bragging that you used to smoke twenty cigarettes a day but now you only smoke ten.”
-- Monte Walden
Wilridge is the most “sustainable” Vineyard, Winery & Distillery in Washington State. However we do not use the term “sustainable” on our wine labels because we consider the term to be greenwashing. While certified sustainable, a vineyard may still spray all sorts of toxic chemical herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. For instance, they typically use Glyphosate (Round Up) on their vineyards. While there are limits on how much they can use, so-called sustainable vineyards have not stopped their dangerous reliance on toxic chemical agents. And these chemicals will inevitably find their way into the wine. To paraphrase the words of Rudolf Steiner, the father of Biodynamics: “One cannot enhance life by spraying death.”
“The phenomena we confront are always richer than the abstractions we use to explain them.”
--Johann Goethe, the grandfather of Biodynamics,1749-1832
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