Thursday, January 25, 2007

Incubator Wine Village

Piper Avenue, at the Walla Walla Regional Airport, is the new home to a row of three buildings that have taken shape as wineries. These "painted lady" colored structures of apricot, sage green and mocha are incubators for newly bonded wineries. When I think of incubators my mind's eye goes to a picture of a mother hen sitting on top of her soon-to-be hatched eggs and that is exactly what this exciting new project is all about.

Three new wineries will make this bright spot their home during a six-year nonrenewable lease. After the six years (or hopefully before), the soon-to-be established wineries will be able to be on their own and once again, three new start-up wineries will make the incubator village their new home.

At this time, all three buildings are full. Devin and Debra Stinger plan to open their Adamant Cellars this spring. The Stingers hail from Portland, Oregon and have been making wine in their basement for about six years. Established winemaker Virginie Bourgue Lodmell, formerly of Bergevin Lane winery, and her husband, Andrew Lodmell, owner of Lodmell Vineyards bring their talents to a new venture. Trio Vintners, a winery owned by Denise Slattery, Steve Michener and Tim Boushey started the 2006 fall crush at their new incubator home. Boushey, Michener and Slattery are all graduates of the Enology and Viticulture program at Walla Walla Community College.

The shell buildings come with a modern HVAC system and outdoor crush pads. Tenants will supply their own wine processing equipment and machinery and of course, barrels. The largest rooms – a processing and barrel storage area, along with an office and restroom, leads off to an entryway to each winery building with an entry of a garage-type door. Funding for this $1.1 million project came from a $985,000 Washington State grant and a Port of Walla Walla contribution of $153,000.

From Port of Walla Walla - Photo by Donna Lasater

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...