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Port of Kennewick preparing for ribbon-cutting at Wine Village

Port of Kennewick preparing for ribbon-cutting at Wine Village

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Columbia Garden's ribbon cutting isn't for another month, but Action News got an exclusive look at how things are looking at the first phase of a project aiming to make the most of Kennewick's waterfront.

Phase one of a plan combining urban development and nature is almost done.

And tenant Bart Fawbush said he's pretty pleased with the result.

"I'm extremely excited," he said. "If my face isn't showing that I apologize, I'm extremely excited. Right now [I'm] just trying to get through all of the stuff for the opening."

Bart Fawbush owns Bartholomew Winery in Seattle, but he's bringing his wine, including a tasting room, to Eastern Washington.

More specifically, the new Wine Village at Columbia Garden's Wine and Artisan Village on Columbia Drive.

Fawbush said most folks grow and make their wine here to sell on the west coast.

But not him.

"The Tri-Cities to me is one of those areas that should be the number one place in Washington state for wine," Fawbush said. "And it's not. But in any direction we're closer to grapes than most other places."

He's been in the wine business for 10 years but that wasn't enough to automatically win a coveted spot as tenant in one of the three buildings built for phase one.

"We applied to be one of the lucky wineries to get in here," he said. "I'm glad the port chose us, we feel very humbled by that."

Larry Peterson with the Port of Kennewick said a couple businesses have relocated to be nearer the Columbia Village Project.

"That is the unique element that we have in the Tri-Cities that most communities would die for," Peterson said. "This is an opportunity for the community to see nature while also enjoying man-made improvements."

Peterson said the port of Kennewick's plan for this stretch of the river is fairly unique.

"There are clusters of tasting rooms throughout the area along with arts and food," he said. "It will appeal to the entire community. You can get out of your car once and enjoy multiple businesses and stops."

And Fawbush said he wants Bartholomews to be one of those stops.

"Wine tasting is different than most of the things you buy," he explained. "You get a chance to taste and smell and see something."

Fawbush said he's technically already hosting tastings: so he's ready for the ribbon cutting so he can officially start doing what he does best.

"We've been doing this for a decade now, so I think we have kind of a handle on it. If you're coming here it's going to be a unique tasting experience for you."

The official ribbon cutting is Feb. 9, but Fawbush is already hosting guests. For more information visit his website.

  • What: Ribbon Cutting
  • When: 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9.
  • Where: Columbia Gardens Urban Wine & Artisan Village, 421 E. Columbia Dr., Kennewick, Wash.
  • Contact: Port of Kennewick, 509-586-1186

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