Wine Incubator

Wine Incubator

Wine Incubator. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

The wine business in Washington is booming. Statistics show that in Washington State one new winery opens every week and it appears that this trend will only continue. Many local communities are getting into the act as well by helping small winery businesses get off the ground. The Port of Kennewick is one such operation looking at developing a wine incubator according to Tammy Fine, director of finance/auditor at the Port.

FINE: When we actually started looking into this we were looking into just the grant possibilities that were out there. We kind of saw how a couple of wine incubator buildings were very successful. There’s the one down in Oregon and then there’s the one in Prosser, the Wine Loft. And then the Port of Walla Walla also put in a really unique wine incubator building too and every single one of them has shown great success.

These incubators again help fledgling businesses get off the ground until they can move on. Fine says they are also looking beyond just the individual wineries.

FINE: We wanted to take a look at it, not just winery startups for wine production but look at the ancillary support that we could possibly bring in here because most of it is down in California. We’ve brought a cork company down here and they’re starting up operations right now and we thought this would be a great opportunity to kind of mix the winery startups and also bring in wine support industry.

The Port of Kennewick has been studying the issue for nearly 2 years.

FINE: And it came out that over 20 years we could create almost a thousand jobs and the economic return would be $137 million over those 20 years so I think there is substantial benefit to our community to implement something like this within the Port district.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.

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