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Bob Larson Vital Wines Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: August 23, 2017

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. We told you recently about Ashley Trout and how the Washington D.C. native ended up as a player in the Walla Walla wine scene.

But since launching her first label, Flying Trout wines, she made the choice last year to leave that brand and start the non-profit Vital Wines, with all the funds donated to SOS Health Services, a bilingual, free clinic …

ASHLEY TROUT … “You know, I’ve been in the wine industry for 17 years now and, to date, I’ve never had healthcare from an employer. That’s not because I’ve worked for bad guys, I’ve always worked for good guys, but it’s because it’s very, very tough in this industry to provide healthcare if your tasting room employee just works one day a week, or if your crush crew just works three months out of the year, or if your vineyard crew just works three months out of the year.”

Trout says her eyes were opened to the urgent need while exploring Japan …

ASHLEY TROUT … “I had a climbing accident in 2004 and broke everything. Luckily it happened in Japan, but if it had happened in the U.S. I would of been up a creek. I was in the hospital for 42 days and had five surgeries and, you know, it was a mess. I was 22 or 23 or 21, whatever it was, so I don’t know what you do if you’re 22 and you’re now $250-grand in debt which was not the case for me only because I was out of the country.”

That’s when Trout knew she had to do something. Listen tomorrow for more on how she’s using Vital Wines to help seasonal workers in the wine industry, many of whom don’t speak English, when seeking much needed healthcare.

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