Winery Owner & General Manager
Having grown up in Oklahoma, dry farming peanuts, cotton, and wheat, Bill Powers was drawn to Washington State in 1957 by the Columbia Basin’s ample irrigation, rich soil, and excellent farming climate. Today, Bill has worked the land of Eastern Washington for over 50 years; his attachment runs deep and his commitment to sustaining the land is proven, active and purposeful.
In 1982, following 20 years as an orchardist and a few years in the cattle business, Bill found his perfect piece of ground and with his son Greg, planted Badger Mountain Vineyard. Located on the south facing slope of its namesake mountain, Badger Mountain Vineyard produced grapes for Washington state’s Chateau St. Michelle from 1985 to 1987. Bill first produced and bottled wine under the Badger Mountain label in 1988.
Ever vigilant in looking for ways to improve the vineyard and its fruit, Bill began to question what seemed an over-exposure to chemicals in farming. Concerned about the potential long term environmental and health effects, Bill decided in 1988 to transition Badger Mountain Vineyard to organic viticulture. At the time there were only a few organic vineyards in California, but no one was farming grapes organically in Washington.
In 1989 Bill and Greg built the family winery and in 1990, Badger Mountain Vineyard became the first Certified Organic winegrape vineyard in Washington State and produced the first Badger Mountain Vineyard vintage. Bill is proud to be the founder of Washington’s oldest and largest organic winegrape producer. “After many years of working with conventional chemicals,” he says, “I simply found a better way."
Highly respected for his progressive techniques and farming expertise, Bill was twice been honored by his colleagues at the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers (WAWGG). Bill was named 1996 Washington Wine Grape Grower of the Year for his excellent recovery of the vineyard after a devastating freeze. And In 2007, Bill received a Lifetime Achievement Award. At that time, the honor had only been bestowed three times since the organization began in 1983. In 2010 he was honored by the Walter Clore Center as a "Legend of Washington Wine" and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Washington wine industry lost a pioneer when Bill passed away in September 2013, but his legacy will continue to live on with his son, grandchildren, and extended Winery “family”.