May 20, 2010
Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark and guests to plant first grapes at Red Mountain project tomorrow
OLYMPIA – The media are invited to join Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, representatives of Vintage Partners LLC, and other officials at a brief ceremony tomorrow (May 21) at 2 p.m. in Benton County to plant the first grapevines in a 404-acre development of state school trust lands for vineyards and wineries in the Red Mountain American Viticulture Area (AVA).
Members of the Red Mountain Vision Group, which includes Port of Kennewick, Benton County, and several owners of vineyards and wineries in the AVA, have been invited to attend.
As the manager of state trust lands, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) signed a longterm lease with Vintage Partners LLC to develop premium vineyards on the state-owned parcel. The project aims to enhance the area’s agriculture economy and diversify the assets of the Common School Trust, which provides millions of dollars annually in non-tax revenue to build public schools in Washington State.
From Richland: Drive west on I-82 to the Benton City Exit. Take the exit and follow State Route 224 toward the City of West Richland. Turn north (or left) on Antonori Road and follow it to the top of the hill where the drive turns into the development site. The new planting site is on the upper driveway into the development area. The Col Solare Winery is just west of this site.
From the city of West Richland: Drive west on SR 224 approximately 6 miles to Antonori Road. Turn north on Antonori Road and follow it to the top of the hill where the drive turns into the development site. The new planting site is on the upper driveway into the development area. The Col Solare Winery is just west of this site.
Leasing state trust lands for agriculture and grazing
Revenue-producing activities on state trust lands include harvest of timber and forest products, leasing of agricultural lands (orchards, vineyards, row crops, dryland crops, and grazing), mineral leases, and leasing of communication sites and commercial properties. DNR offers trust land leases at public auction to the highest bidder.
Media Contact: Jane Chavey, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1721; firstname.lastname@example.org
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