Sustain (suh-steyn), verb:
1. To keep from giving way. 2. To keep in existence; maintain. 3. To provide for, support. 4. To uphold as valid, just, or correct.
In September 2011 Powers Winery completed a 2,200 square foot solar panel addition on our winery's barrel storage building. Following the success of our solar panels on our office building, we were greatly encouraged to increase the scope of our solar investment. This installation is the largest solar array in the Washington State wine industry. It can generate up to 35 kilowatts (AC) daily or more than 41,000 kilowatt-hours per year, roughly 18% of the winery's electrical needs. The enphase energy website has real time updates of how our panels are performing.
Today everyone is talking green, but earth-friendly production is a Powers family tradition dating back to the days when such practices earned us the title “granola heads.” Our family estate, Badger Mountain Vineyard became the first Certified Organic winegrape vineyard in Washington State in 1990 and is certified Salmon Safe, signifying that our entire farm is sustainable. We also produce box wines which have a much lower carbon footprint then traditional glass bottles. On the winery side, the Powers Winery Tasting Room became the first private commercial building in the Tri-Cities to use solar panels for clean energy. We also make our own biodiesel, collecting used cooking oils from local restaurants; this homemade bio fuel runs all of our farm equipment. Our employees at both the vineyard and the winery lead a comprehensive recycling effort and are always looking for ways to increase our sustainability practices. In the near future we are looking to incorporate lighter glass bottles into our wine production process and to expand our use of solar energy.
We consider our people our greatest asset and are proud of the fact that most of our employees have been with us since we opened the winery in 1992. Our staff receives a living wage, paid vacation and sick leave, health insurance and, of course, they share in some of every wine we make. We also support our employees in their pursuit of higher education and look to promote from within at every opportunity.
Powers Winery is proud to participate in the Puget Consumer Cooperative (PCC) Farmland Trust, through PCC Natural Markets. This non-profit, community-supported land trust based in Seattle Washington, secures threatened farmland in the Northwest, and ensures that multi-generation local farm families productively farm it using organic methods. Powers Winery works with PCC each year to create a special Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon to be sold exclusively through PCC stores. For every bottle sold, $2 (about 18%) is directly donated to the PCC Farmland Trust. The donation exceeds $80,000 through Springl 2012, and continues to grow.
For more information about these wines visit pcc natural markets, or click on http://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com/products/winebeer/powers_pcc_wine.html
As a member of the larger community of Washington state winegrowers and wineries, we activity participate in promoting Washington state wines regionally, nationally and internationally. Our primary effort is in the creation of excellent wines, but we also promote and advise on sustainable farming practices and are members of the Washington Wine Institute, Washington Wine Commission, and Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers.