A week ago, we stopped on our way back to Walla Walla from Seattle to stop at the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center. It is located on Wine Country Road in Prosser, off I-82 (Exit 82) next to the Desert Wind Winery. We found our visit to be very interesting and educational.
Dr. Walter J. Clore is considered the father of vinifera grape growing in Washington. He arrived in Pullman in 1934 to study horticulture, and in 1937, landed a job at the WSU Research Center in Prosser. Later, he began testing grape varieties, and, in 1960, partnered wit Charles Nagel to determine what varieties grow best in certain places. He retired from WSU in 1976, but continued his studies. He passed on in 2003, and will forever be remembered as the "Father of Washington Wine."
At the Center, we tasted several Washington Wines with Tasting Room Lead, Mitzi Hadley and Executive Director, Abbey Cameron. The September Tasting theme was "Back to School Month," with wines from the four colleges with enology and viticulture programs, Walla Walla Community College (College Cellars), South Seattle College (Northwest Wine Academy), Washington State University ("blended learning") and Yakima Valley Community College (Yakima Valley Vintners). October's theme is" Lemtoberfest" featuring Limburger wines and Washington and German wine comparisons. For lunch, we had chicken sandwiches with a flight of white wines. The tasting room also has a wine shop where wines from around the state can be purchased.
The Center also has educational and meeting rooms were visitors can learn more about Washington Wines. We also saw exhibits on the history of Washington winemaking and maps of the state's American Viticultural Areas, along with a show of art works. The Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center definitely is worth a stop.