BENTON CITY — The entrepreneurial spirit is soaring to new heights at Goose Ridge Distillery as the Monson Family have shifted their grape-based vodka business plans to join in the global and community response of the COVID-19 crisis with the introduction of hand and surface sanitizer for wholesale and retail orders.
The family agriculture business originated from Sunnyside in 1975, which also included a cattle feed lot, located on Yakima Valley Highway until the 90’s. After relocating and establishing their winery, the diversified Agri company remains in the cattle feed business, running cow-calf operations beyond the Sunnyside [lot], Vice President of Sales and Marketing Molly Monson-Stutesman said.
“We’ve been in the wine grape business for the last 20 years and we have diversified into distilling products in the last couple of years. This hand sanitizer is made from our distillery,” Monson-Stutesman stated.
She explained how the idea came about after receiving the Food and Drug Administration’s announcement which allowed distilleries to make hand sanitizer under a certain compounding. And matched with the immediate need for first line responders, the company went into production.
“We’re taking 160-proof alcohol, glycerin and hydrogen-peroxide and that’s the FDA compounding formula that they allow distilleries to make and sell hand sanitizer,” the sales and marketing executive explained.
The first 20,000 gallons of sanitizer, made with ethanol from wine grapes in accordance with the revised FDA requirements, rolled out of the vineyard on April 9 and was delivered to the state of Washington in support of essential front-line workers.
The company has also made donations to regional healthcare facilities and continues delivering shipments to the U.S. Military. The ethanol-based solution is 80% alcohol by volume, which exceeds minimum federal standards for disinfectants and antimicrobials by 20%.
“We think it’s great that our products are going out to the frontline responders. Those are the people that really need it and we’re pleased to be able to provide them with a safe product,” Monson-Stutesman expressed.