A longtime Yakima Valley cattleman and wine grape grower will be remembered for his willingness to try new ideas.
Goose Ridge Estate Vineyards & Winery will hold a celebration of life for founder Arvid V. Monson 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 10 at its Richland tasting room, 16304 N. Dallas Road.
Monson, 73, of Yakima, died Dec. 1.
His family describes Monson as an innovator and visionary who always searched for ways improve his business, did business with a handshake and kept promises.
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Monson remained hands-on even after handing the reins of Goose Ridge Estate Vineyards and Winery over to his children. He would visit the vineyards almost daily and still offered up ideas and opinions on how to make the operation better, said Jenn Nance, Goose Ridge Winery tasting room manager.
Monson started with cattle, and transitioned into apples and cherries before jumping into growing wine grapes. He had traveled to other wine regions and wanted to help develop Washington’s wine industry, Nance said.
“It was his dream to have a winery,” she said.
Monson started planting the now 2,500-acre Goose Ridge Estate Vineyards near Richland with advice from Dr. Walter Clore in 1997. The vineyards are near Red Mountain, but are part of the Columbia Valley growing area. Nance said it was an area Clore felt would do well with wine grapes.
And that advice has proved true. Goose Ridge Vineyards wine has received 90-point and higher ratings from Wine Spectator, an influential wine publication.
Goose Ridge started out small with its first 1999 vintage. But Goose Ridge has grown exponentially by adding to grapes and production each year, Nance said.
Monson was active in many agricultural associations and received the Washington state Cattle Feeder of the Year award in 1979 and 2004. He also served on the Yakima County Planning Commission and was a member of the Sunnyside Rotary Club.
Monson is survived by his wife Suzanne, his daughter Valerie of Richland, his son Bill and his wife Darci, grandchildren Taylor, Blake and MaKenzie of Kennewick, his daughter Molly Stutesman, and her husband Rob, grandchildren Grant, Allison, and Luke of Richland.
Instead of flowers or gifts, donations can be made to the newly created Arvid Monson Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Washington State University Tri-Cities Viticulture and Enology program. Donations can be sent to WSU CAHNRS, Attn: In memory of Arvid Monson, P.O. Box 646228, Pullman, WA. 99164-6228.