SEATTLE —The Washington wine industry today announced an exciting partnership between the state’s sustainability certification for winegrapes – Sustainable WA – and Salmon-Safe, a leading U.S. regional eco-label focused on watershed protection. Following an 18-month development process, Sustainable WA is joining with Salmon-Safe in a certification partnership to enhance water quality protection, wildlife habitat conservation, and climate resiliency. As part of the updated Sustainable WA Standard, vineyards in the program now have the option of obtaining dual certification for both Sustainable WA and Salmon-Safe, provided all standards are met.

“We are thrilled to have this partnership with Salmon-Safe, bringing these associations together for dual certification in support of sustainable practices and water quality protection for our Washington wine industry. This harmonization of the Sustainable WA certification program showcases our industry’s commitment to continuous improvement and best practices,” said Colleen Frei, Executive Director of Washington Winegrowers Association.

Sustainable WA was launched in 2022 as Washington’s first statewide certified sustainability program for winegrapes, signifying a commitment to quality fruit, environmental stewardship, and healthy communities. It is a partnership between the Washington Winegrowers Association, the Washington State Wine Commission, the Washington Wine Industry Foundation, and the Washington Wine Institute, with oversight by an industry-led governance council and technical committee. It is a rigorous, science-based program, built by industry and experts in the field of sustainability and is committed to the principle of continuous improvement.

Salmon-Safe is a leading U.S. ecolabel that works to keep urban and agricultural watersheds healthy for native salmon. More than 95,000 acres of farm and urban lands in the Pacific Northwest have transitioned to Salmon-Safe certification in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California and British Columbia. For viticulture, the focus of Salmon-Safe is reducing vineyard runoff, water quality protection, and enhancement of native biodiversity on vineyard sites.

“We know that Sustainable WA winegrowers have a commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Dan Kent, executive director of Salmon-Safe. “Offering joint certification is a way for us to bring a strengthened and science-based focus on watershed impact to Sustainable WA as certified vineyard operations lead the way to healthier Columbia Basin waterways.”

To achieve dual certification, growers must commit to sustainable viticultural practices and pass a third-party audit to ensure operations meet established standards. Once vineyards are certified, wineries can feature the Sustainable WA logo on their bottles if the wines are made of 75% certified Sustainable WA winegrapes. To utilize the Salmon-Safe logo, the wines must include 95% Salmon-Safe certified winegrapes.

“The certification partnership between Sustainable WA and Salmon-Safe adds a layer of credibility to Washington’s program by ensuring that vineyards are using verified environmental practices that protect our local watersheds,” said Sadie Drury, Vineyard Manager at North Slope Management and Sustainable WA winegrower.

Nearly a third of Washington’s vineyard acreage is currently in the Sustainable WA program, with more expected in the coming years. Vineyard registration for the 2024 season is now open at

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Gallery Credit: Reesha Cosby

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