The Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center
From Blind Tastings to a class called “Wine 101”, the Clore Center is dedicated to teaching consumers from all over the world about Washington State’s wine and agricultural past, present, and future.
When Walter Clore enrolled in the school of horticulture at Washington State College (now Washington State University) in 1934, he never could have imagined the impact he would have on the Washington State wine industry 83 years later.
Dr. Clore began what would be his life’s work in 1937 studying vinifera grapes and their potential for growth in Washington soils. His research earned him official recognition from the Washington State Legislature in 2003 as the “Father of Washington Wine” and positioned Prosser, WA. as the birthplace of what is now a booming statewide wine industry.
Today, Washington state is the second leading premium wine producer in the country and its wine industry contributes in excess of $14.9 billion to the national economy and supports more than 27,000 jobs.
Dr. Clore’s legacy is celebrated daily at the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser. Opened in 2014, the Center is a 15,000-square-foot tasting room, event venue, and educational center dedicated to teaching consumers from all over the world about Washington State’s wine and agricultural past, present, and future.
The Clore Center is a 501c3 nonprofit with the mission to serve as a central gathering place for industry and consumers to discover Washington wine and agriculture though engaging events and innovative programs.
The Center offers a unique wine tasting experience that serves not to compete with local wineries, but to enhance the understanding of Washington’s wine offerings. The tasting line-up rotates between the state’s 14 AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) and changes each month.
This structure allows guests to taste wines from all over Washington in one central location, discover wineries that they may not have been aware of previously, and learn what makes each region and the fruit it produces unique. After tasting, guests can stay for lunch. Local caterers provide a varied menu throughout the year. Wines from the Red Mountain AVA will be featured during the month of March.
The tasting room at The Clore Center also offers a collection of informative displays aimed at documenting and educating the public about the rich history of the area and how it became the wine and agricultural hub it is today.
Additionally, the multiple onsite event spaces are available to rent for weddings, parties, business meetings, and private occasions.
“The Clore Center plays a unique role as Washington’s Wine Center,” explains Executive Director Abbey Cameron. “It maintains the legacy of Dr. Clore’s work, celebrates the premium quality and diversity of Washington wine, and showcases the agricultural bounty of the valley.”
“We are Washington’s wine and agricultural cheerleaders, hosting guests and visitors every day to learn more about wine, find something they love, and to take home their knowledge and enthusiasm (and hopefully a special bottle) to share with their friends and family,” Cameron adds. “We are fortunate to enjoy, share, and celebrate this very special industry with guests near and far.”
A highlight of the center’s educational mission, visitors can choose from a wide array of ticketed events each month — from regular programming like Blind Tastings and Washington vs the World experiences, to larger tasting events like Rising Stars: A Tasting Experience of Washington’s Newest Wineries.
Other programs include a class called “Wine 101,” guided tours of the Clore Center and an event called “Washington’s Big 5.” “Wine 101” is a popular class that teaches attendees how to taste wine, wine etiquette and what makes Washington wine special. This class is a great group event.
To learn more about all of the programs that the Clore Center offers, call (509) 786-1000, or visit: www.theclorecenter.org.
As a not-for-profit organization, the Clore Center relies on donations, grants and fund-raising events to support its operations and expand its programming efforts.
The Center’s biggest fund-raiser is its annual Legends Gala, which is held in August of each year. This year, the Gala raised a record-breaking $105,000 for their annual programs and services that promote and support the Washington wine industry.
The highlight of the evening came as Doug Gore, vice president of winemaking for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, was inducted into the Legends of Washington Wine Hall of Fame. Doug’s 25 years of significant contribution to the industry was celebrated with family, friends, and colleagues in attendance.
The 12th Annual Legends Gala, is set for Friday, August 10th, 2018.
Gifts from individuals are also an important component of the Center’s fund-raising efforts. You can support the Clore Center in a number of ways.
- Select the Clore Center as your favorite charitable organization every time you shop at AmazonSmile. 0.5% of your purchase price directly supports the operations and programming needs of the Center.
- Make a gift of securities, agricultural commodities, or other appreciated assets. Consider long-term planned giving options, including through your estate plan.
- Provide a gift in-kind or product donation.
- Volunteer at one of the Center’s many events throughout the year.
If you would like to make a gift to the Clore Center or have questions in regard to charitable contributions, contact Lottie Carlson, Donor Development Director, at Lottie@theclorecenter.org or (509)786-1000 x212.
If you’re looking for a place to discover the very best wines Washington has to offer, the Clore Center is your ideal destination.
When you get there, you can taste wine from each of the state’s unique wine growing regions, enjoy a glass of wine and seasonal fare in the comfortable tasting room or on the patio, and expand your enjoyment of Washington’s wine and culinary delights through the calendar of special programs and events.
Open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, the Clore Center is located just off Interstate 82 at Exit 24 at 2140A Wine Country Rd., Prosser, WA 99350.
The beautiful 16-acre site overlooks the Yakima River, Horse Heaven Hills and Rattlesnake Mountain in the heart of Washington wine country.
Expect to pay $10 per person for a tasting experience. However, you’ll receive a $5 refund with the purchase of a bottle of wine. For more information about The Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center, call (509) 786-1000 or visit: www.theclorecenter.org.