Prosser's Clore Center Wine & Culinary Center on track

April 27, 2011 

The development of the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center has had its ups and downs, with stops and starts and struggles along the way.

Fundraising has been a challenge, and the leadership and scope of the proposed wine and food center have changed and evolved over the past decade.

But the prognosis now looks good.

Work is under way on the facility's outdoor event center at its 24-acre home in Prosser, in time to become home of the Legends of Washington Wine event, and the Prosser Wine and Food Fair later this year.

Now a $2 million grant awarded by the Federal Economic Development Administration to The Clore Center and the Port of Benton, which are partners in the project, will allow construction of the main facility to begin next year.

The Clore Center is expected to be a destination for wine and food education, appealing to the lucrative agritourism market and, we hope, bringing some of those discretionary spenders to the Mid-Columbia.

The port will manage the construction of the 15,000-square-foot building through a joint operating agreement in this public-private partnership. The venue will feature a tasting room, kitchen, exhibits, teaching vineyards, gardens, classrooms and conference rooms among its offerings.

We're glad to see that The Clore Center moving from the talking and speculation phase to fruition. It will be a valuable asset for our region and a fitting tribute to the late Dr. Walter J. Clore, renowned wine researcher and father of Washington's wine industry.

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