The Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center will be a centrally located, must-see, learning center that promotes Washington State wine and food by actively engaging visitors to learn, experience and appreciate the quality and diversity of its wine and food products.
The Clore Center will be located in Prosser, Washington on Wine Country Road, Exit 82 off I-82 between Yakima and the Tri-Cities. It overlooks the Yakima River westerly toward the Cascade Mountain Range. The diligent work of both the public and private sectors to bring funding to this project is a testament to Washington State’s commitment to the Center.
Location & Activities
The Center will be located on 22 acres adjacent to the Yakima River in Prosser, Washington. The community of Prosser is designated as the site for the Clore Center because of its location in the center of the state’s winegrape growing region and its distinction as the home of the largest irrigated agricultural research center in the U.S. (WSU-IAREC) where, in 1934, Dr. Walter Clore, began his research. The facility will incorporate the principles of sustainable design and respect its eastern Washington agricultural surroundings, complementing both its river-front site and surrounding vineyards and gardens.
The Clore Center will include:
* an expansive lobby and information area for welcoming visitors and holding events and functions
* interactive and engaging exhibition galleries
* flexible orientation theater for lectures and demonstrations
* state of the art, professionally outfitted demonstration kitchen
* interpretive vineyards and gardens, for self-guided and led tours
* wine bar/tasting lounge for presentation of Washington wines
* retail shop for visitors to make purchases of local products
* industry and administrative office space and resource center
* fully-equipped classroom spaces for hands-on training, teaching and meetings
Interactive Learning Opportunities
Interactive displays will provide for the unique learning experience sought by many Center visitors (in particular, the wine country tourist). These one-of-a-kind exhibits will provide visitors with a complete sensory experience utilizing the latest interpretive technologies and techniques to stimulate and engage them. The gallery will offer a variety of topics and storylines such as:
* the story of Washington’s unique natural history and its impact on the character of the soils, microclimates and water.
* illustrated information about the state’s varietals
* presentation of step-by-step process of wine making from grape growing to bottling
* history of the wine industry in Washington and the individuals who shaped it, showcasing the state’s leadership in the wine industry.
Vineyards, Gardens & Grounds
The outdoor areas at the Walter Clore Center will be a natural extension of the internal exhibit space, providing opportunities not only for calm reflection but also for hands-on learning about soils, climates and viticulture.
The Vineyard will provide sample demonstrations vines, illustrating the differences between Washington State varietals. Nearby will be outdoor support facilities to bring the classroom to the vines.
The Gardens will be devoted to agriculture and horticulture alike, offering both the aesthetics of formal botanical gardens and the interactivity of an outdoor classroom. Much of the gardens and vineyard area will be used for professional education and development and utilized in the demonstration kitchen.
The Grounds, in addition to their interpretive functions, will provide passive public recreation opportunities for visitors to the Clore Center as well as residents of the community. The grounds provide much-needed public space for picnics, leg-stretching and even a secluded spot or two for wildlife-watching.
Program Space & Facilities
For more in-depth exploration, Center programs will promote the wine industry in Washington State and serve as a venue for visiting chefs, winegrowers and winemakers, scholars, wine consumers and media. Various classes, lectures, films and seminars will be offered for professionals and enthusiasts alike and will take place at the Center throughout the year. Dedicated space within the Center will accommodate the needs of a variety of users:
* classes in and demonstrations of the viticulturists’ and winemakers’ crafts
* appreciation classes in wine tasting, wine and food pairings, local food products and culinary events
* professional development and education programs in the wine and food service industry
* a fully-developed, dynamic and accessible website operation is also envisioned
Industry Offices & Resource Area
To meet the needs of the rapidly-expanding ranks of wine professionals in Washington, the center is envisioned to support industry activities including:
* dedicated meeting and office space to hold regional or statewide meetings, programs or instruction
* co-op office space.
* resource area with a high-tech “library” for highly motivated visitors and industry professionals.
Special computers linked to various organizations, universities, other research entities will be located in the main exhibition gallery.
Wine Bar / Tasting Area
The wine bar is intended to provide a pleasant place for locals and industry professionals to gather and enjoy the wine, the view and the company.
The Gift Shop is envisioned as a major financial driver for the Center. The ability to sell wine, packaged food for picnics, items like corkscrews and other utensils, related books, an upscale “signature” line of merchandise and other gift items.
The Clore Center’s greatest economic impact will be felt throughout the Pacific Northwest region in tourism, marketing and promotions, financial institutions and in government tax revenues and license fees. Providing a destination facility that links the wine grape growing corridor between Yakima and Walla Walla will increase our state’s annual tourists (currently two million). Increased visitor traffic provides a profitable market for investment from the private sector. Tourism related to the wine industry results in estimated expenditures of $20 million throughout the state. This includes not only tasting room and tour employment, but also some portion of the hotel, and restaurant business overall.
Washington State wine industry has doubled in size over the past ten years with more than 32,000 acres of vitis vinifera (winegrapes) and over 600 state wineries. This trend ranks Washington State second in the U.S. in premium wine production. Promotion and consumer awareness through the Clore Center will continue to boost the industry’s economic impact on the State of Washington. With the Clore Center marketing and promoting the wine industry to untapped markets, the economic impact on the State will continue to flourish.