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Bob Larson Vital Wines Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: August 03, 2018

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. 17 years in the wine industry without employer provided healthcare. That’s the reality for Vital Wines winemaker Ashley Trout, and pretty much the entire Walla Walla wine community.

Trout says it’s just the current reality in a burgeoning industry …

ASHLEY TROUT-2C = 12 … “It’s just a really unfortunate combination of circumstances where you’ve got a physical job, part time people, and a young, young industry filled with business owners that are very much in debt.”

So, Trout started the non-profit Vital Wines to try and help locally …

ASHLEY TROUT-3B = 21 … “I’m not going to fix healthcare! Vital’s not going to fix healthcare! But, I think it’s important that we at least tackle some low hanging fruit and also, we are such a community that to have one more excuse to solidify the strength of that community is heartwarming even before any health issues have been tackled. And that’s exactly what’s happening.”

Trout says response from the local wine community has been unbelievably generous …

TROUT … “We’ve got so much support from vineyards, and wineries, and winemakers, and harvesters, you name it in the valley, that this is only our second vintage and I had to turn down 29 tons of donated fruit.”

All money from Vital Wines sales goes to SOS Health Services, a free, no-questions asked, bilingual health clinic. Vital Wines are quick to sell out, but when available, you can find them through their wine club and mailing list or at select retail outlets.

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