Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
08.31.2010  
 

Prosser Becomes Winery Hub

Wineries cluster in industrial developments; Walter Clore educational center on the way to Washington city

 
by Paul Franson
 
 
Prosser Vintners Village
 
An early aerial view of Prosser Vintners Village displays ample space for wineries and related businesses.
Prosser, Wash. --  The small Yakima Valley city of Prosser is rapidly establishing itself as the center of Washington’s booming Columbia Valley wine region.

The city of 5,000 on the Yakima River now boasts about 30 wineries, the Washington State University Irrigated Agriculture Research & Extension Center, and is the site for the upcoming Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center.

Bids will be opened this week for the first phase of the latter attraction. Meanwhile, a popular winery cluster is being expanded; an innkeeper just signed for an adjacent future B&B with antique and cheese shops.

It hasn’t happened by chance, however. The aggressive Port of Benton development district seeded the growth. A few years ago, it began the transformation of a former industrial park into the Prosser Wine and Food Park by selling space to Hogue Cellars for a winery. That winery has grown dramatically and now produces 650,000 cases per year.

Five other wineries, a distillery and three apple-processing plants round out the offerings in what is still a business-oriented development. The new 32-acre Prosser Vintners Village is aimed directly at tourists. The site just off the major interstate highway boasts 14 wineries and tasting rooms, one with a wine bar and restaurant.

Expanding Vintners Village

The port paid $1.1 million for 19 acres adjacent to the village in October 2008 for expansion. The port begins creating the infrastructure in the new area next week; 17 acres will be subdivided into plots of one-half to 1 acre, to sell for about $130,000 to $170,000 per acre.

The property also will include a bed and breakfast inn, a desirable addition to the tourism infrastructure in the area. Diahann Howard, director of economic development/governmental affairs for the Port of Benton, told Wines & Vines that Deborah Augustavo just signed an agreement to buy the 1912-vintage Seven Gables home on the site and turn it into a B&B.

Augustavo owned and operated The Broadway Grill on Seattle’s Capitol Hill for nearly 20 years, but she sold that business and plans to move to Prosser and run the inn. She also intends to develop some of the outbuildings on the 2.5-acre site, one into an antique shop, one a cheese shop.

The Prosser Vintner's Village currently includes 14 wine businesses, a 10-acre plant nursery and the Winemaker’s Loft incubator, which was recently sold to Dearborn LLC by original developer Mike Haddox. New owner Kari Saccomanno (e-mail), bought the property in June 2009.

Saccomanno said the Winemaker’s Loft is 100% leased for the first time, with seven wineries. Six have private 1,000-square-foot areas for tasting rooms, fermenting, aging and storage; and one has 3,000 square feet. They share the crush pad and equipment. Saccomanno said more space will open up next year.

City officials expect the cluster developments to work well in the area because most local wineries are not actual estates. Many Eastern Washington wineries source their grapes from well-known vineyards in isolated areas, off the beaten path and lacking typical tourist services. Wineries of all sizes near the major population centers of Seattle, in the west, and Spokane, in the east are accustomed to hauling grapes hundreds of miles from where they are grown. It makes sense, therefore, to locate wineries and tasting rooms in more convenient and populous sites with better infrastructure.

Each wine building in the Vintners’ Village lies on land bought from the port. Some are merely tasting rooms, but others are functioning wineries.

One, Wine O’Clock, is a popular wine bar and casual restaurant owned and managed by the proprietors of Bunnell Family Winery and RiverAerie Cellars.

Links to Prosser wineries

The wine companies in the Prosser Vintners Village complex include:
Airfield Estate Winery (15,000 cases) airfieldwines.com
Apex Winery (25,000 cases) apexcellars.com
Coyote Canyon (2,000 cases) coyotecanyonwinery.com
Gamache Vintners (4,000 cases) gamachevintners.com
Maison Bleue Winery (2,000 cases) mbwinery.com
Martinez & Martinez Winery (1,000 cases) m2-wine.com
Milbrandt Vineyards (30,000 cases) milbrandtvineyards.com
Olsen Estates (6,000 cases) olsenestates.com
Plaza Winery (3,000 cases) plazasocievolewinery.com
RiverAerie Cellars (4,000 cases) / Bunnell Family Cellar
Tasawik Vineyards (200 cases) tasawikvineyards.com
Thurston Wolfe Winery (6,000 cases) thurstonwolfe.com
Willow Crest Winery (15,000 cases) willowcrestwinery.com
• Wine O'clock Wine Bar wineoclockwinebar.com

Meanwhile, there’s activity at the older Prosser Wine and Food Park not far away. The port will be adding a $1.5 million gasification plant that will be used to turn biomass into steam and power.

The park is a 90-acre site currently housing several wineries, food processing plants, a micro-brewery and a cold storage facility.

Four acres of land zoned for industrial use remain available at this site, and a 35-acre property adjacent to the west side of the park has been purchased for future development by processing plants and high-end wineries. 
 
Current occupants include:
Alexandria Nicole Winery (9,000 cases) alexandrianicolecellars.com
Cowan Vineyards (1,200 cases) cowanvineyards.com
Heaven's Cave (1,000 cases) heavenscave.com
• Hogue Cellars
Kestrel Vintners (30,000 cases) kestrelwines.com
Mercer Estates (30,000 cases) mercerwine.com
• Blue Flame Distilling
• Tree Top Apples
• Zirkle Fruit Co. (also apples)
• Kenyon Zero Storage (apple storage)

Walter Clore center
In related news, construction is expected to begin shortly on the next phase of the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser, designed to become a prime educational and promotional center for Washington's wines and food products.

Bids were opened Aug. 25 for a 2,400-square-foot outdoor event facility at the center in Prosser, with completion expected this fall.

Backers hope to snare a $2 million federal Economic Development Administration grant to help pay for construction of the 15,000-square-foot main Clore center building, which is budgeted at $6 million.

The Clore center also will augment the proposed wine science center at WSU Tri-Cities nearby and the WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser.

The two-story Clore center will include a wine tasting room, kitchen, theater, classrooms, offices and conference rooms. At least $1.5 million has been raised in a capital campaign, and the Washington Department of Commerce has committed $2 million.
SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 $562 million
5%
$7,549 million
6%
June 2013 $535 million $7,094 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 $87 million
17%
$1,669 million
11%
June 2013 $74 million $1,510 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 300
34%
220
21%
June 2013 224 182
     
 
MORE » Released on 07.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wines & Vines
Packaging Conference
 
Learn More »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • July 30
     
    Sweet and Fortified Wine Association Meeting
     
  • July 30 - August 1
     
    Indy International Wine Competition
     
  • August 1-3
     
    West of West Festival
     
  • August 2
     
    Urban Wine Xperience
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
All these arguments could be levied by any industry associated with any gTLD, new or...
Reader: Doug Barnett
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
Do brands get hijacked now? Even though .wine does not yet exist, are there false...
Reader: Larry Chandler
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Roundup is not benign. It does not always break down in a day or two...
Reader: Robert Rex
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Mitigating water use in the vineyard in the first place is also an applicable tactic....
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Having managed vineyards that have used both approaches, I would say that a diverse approach...
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2014 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Back Staff (Ft & Pt)
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Wine & Beer Sales Exec...
 Maryland & Delaware Beaches, MD
Sales and Marketing
 Sales Person
 San Jose, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Ft/Pt Wine Consultant ...
 Miami, FL
Sales and Marketing
 Italian Wine Consultan...
 New York, NY
Sales and Marketing
 Ft/Pt Wine Consultant ...
 Tampa, FL
Sales and Marketing
 Production Manager
 Napa, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Wine Club Manager
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Guest Relations Host
 Oakville, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Brand Manager Wolf Bla...
 Toronto, ON
Sales and Marketing
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.