[from original press release]

Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington’s founding winery, recently earned LIVE sustainability for its popular Woodinville, Washington winery, which is visited by more than 300,000 guests a year. The winery’s Canoe Ridge Estate red winery in Eastern Washington, as well as its Canoe Ridge Estate and Cold Creek vineyards are also LIVE and Salmon Safe CertifiedLIVE is a rigorous third party certification program of environmentally and socially responsible winegrowing in the Pacific Northwest.

“We are very proud that both our Chateau Ste. Michelle winery facilities and estate vineyards are now LIVE certified,” explains Jessica Myer, Ste. Michelle Wine Estate Environmental Specialist.   “LIVE certification looks as the whole winemaking process, from grape sourcing to how the wines are bottled and shipped out the door.  We believe that environmental stewardship and responsible practices in our vineyards and winemaking facilities not only help us craft the best quality wines possible, but it’s also the right thing to do for our company and our community.”

Chateau Ste. Michelle is one of the few premium wineries in the world with two state-of-the-art winemaking facilities, one devoted to whites at its Woodinville Chateau outside of Seattle and another customized to red wine production at its Canoe Ridge Estate winery in Eastern Washington.  Some of the winery’s sustainable practices include: water re-use; recycling of glass, paper, cardboard, pallets, cork, and plastic; water conserving nozzles on hoses, energy efficient lighting, and use of a rail system for shipments to reduce the winery’s carbon footprint.

Chateau Ste. Michelle winery is also a certified EnviroStars business for its commitment to reducing hazardous and non-hazardous wastes in King County, WA.

Sustainability in the Vineyards

Practicing sustainability in its vineyards has been a priority for the winery for many years.  Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Cold Creek and Canoe Ridge Estate vineyards earned the rigorous third-party LIVE and Salmon Safe sustainability certification in 2009.  Examples of the winery’s sustainable practices in its vineyards include: drip irrigation systems for efficient water use; cover crops to reduce soil erosion; re-use of grape pomace as vineyard fertilizer and for livestock feed for local goat farms; and use of natural pest control agents such as soaps, oils and plant extracts. The winery also built nesting boxes at its Canoe Ridge Estate vineyard for American Kestrels so they can help control insects & rodents.

“Our wines from our estate vineyards of Canoe Ridge Estate and Cold Creek are the ultimate sense of place and show the pure terroir of the vineyard, in large part because of our gentle sustainable vineyard and cellar practices,” says Brian MacKey, Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Red Winemaker. “Our sustainability practices in the vineyard as well as in the cellar, help us produce the highest quality wine and the ultimate expression of Washington’s growing region.  We work hard to be responsible shepherds of these pristine vineyard lands so they will thrive and produce world-class wines for decades to come.”

About Chateau Ste. Michelle

Founded in 1934, Chateau Ste. Michelle pioneered vinifera grape growing in Washington State and has been producing classic European varietal wines under the Ste. Michelle label since 1967. The winery combines an ongoing dedication to research with a commitment to classic winemaking traditions. The winery owns 3,900 acres of vineyards in the Columbia Valley of Eastern Washington, including Canoe Ridge Estate and Cold Creek, which are LIVE and Salmon Safe certified. Chateau Ste. Michelle enjoys winemaking partnerships with some of the world’s most distinguished vintners. Col Solare is an alliance with Tuscany’s Piero Antinori, Eroica Riesling is a partnership with the Mosel’s Ernst Loosen and Tenet is a collaboration with Michel Gassier and Philippe Cambie of France. Chateau Ste. Michelle has received a long list of awards including 22 “Top 100 Wineries of The Year” honors (Wine & Spirits) and 18 “Top 100 Wines” designations (Wine Spectator). Chateau Ste. Michelle also has a long history of giving back to the industry and community. The net proceeds from its popular Summer Concert Series helps fund its charitable giving program, which supports some 400 non-profit organizations annually, has provided more than $3 million forscholarships for high-achieving, low-income students at Washington universities, and supports the Viticulture & Enology Program at Washington State University.