From wine to vodka to sanitizer: Local family-owned winery, distillery shifts focus during coronavirus

RICHLAND, Wash. — Washington-based, fourth-generation agribusiness Goose Ridge Estate Winery and Vineyards has been serving the community since the 1900s. 2020 is allowing them to serve in a brand new way.

“We’re very diversified,” said Taylor Monson, national/international brand & sales manager. “We’re not only into wine and the distillery, we’re also into apples, cattle and cherries.”

They can now add hand sanitizer to that list.

“Our family has always been great with innovative ideas and coming to market with what people need,” said Molly Stutesman, VP of sales and marketing.

The Monson family had recently launched Goose Ridge Distillery. Then, the coronavirus hit.

We were just getting ready to launch our vodka brand, said Stutesman. “We had the correct proof of alcohol that’s needed for the hand sanitizer.”

Since then, they’ve switched their focus for the time being to whipping up gallons of multi-purpose sanitizer. The ethanol-based solution is 80% alcohol by volume, which is 20% more than the minimum requirement for disinfectants and antimicrobials. It also meets or exceeds all of the recommendations set by the FDA, CDC and WHO.

“Pretty much after the first week of producing the product we were getting phone calls from the school district, state hospitals and the military,” said Monson. “At that point, we kind of took a step back as a family and said ,’Wow, there’s a huge need for this, and how we can produce a product to meet that demand?'”

They got to work, and the first 20,000 gallons of their sanitizer was delivered directly to the state of Washington to be distributed to essential workers around the state.

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“We knew first and foremost we wanted to get this product out to essential workers that needed it the most,” said Monson.

And they haven’t stopped. Though their sanitizer is now available for purchase by the general public, they are still donating to those on the frontlines. On Thursday, they donated sanitizer to the entire Kennewick Police Department. They also plan to donate to Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels and local firefighters.

Goose Ridge donates to KPD 3

For local customers, their Richland tasting room is now being used for curbside pickup. Customers can order ahead of time online or by emailing Sanitizer can be picked up in Richland Tuesday through Saturday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The sanitizer is available for wholesale and retail purchase. They offer multiple sizes: 375 mL, 750 mL, half gallon, two and a half gallon and larger options.

Wholesale orders can be directed to the Goose Ridge corporate office at (509) 627-6249.