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WSU Tri‑Cities partners with Port of Benton to offer wine and culinary education

Closeup of the Clore Center
The Clore Center was established in 2014 as the result of a $2 million grant from the Federal Economic Development Administration.

Washington State University Tri‑Cities is partnering with the Port of Benton to offer wine and culinary education at the newly reopened Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser, Washington.

The Clore Center was established in 2014 as the result of a $2 million grant from the Federal Economic Development Administration. It was named in honor of Walter Clore, who is largely known as the “Father of Washington wine.” The 15,000-square-foot facility features a tasting room, event space and educational center to teach individuals about Washington’s storied wine and agriculture industries.

As part of the new partnership, WSU Tri-Cities will offer seminars, events and coursework at the facility for both WSU Tri‑Cities students and the public under its continuing education and workforce development programs. WSU Tri‑Cities will also lead the curatorial direction and display of Clore’s historical wine archive at the center as part of its Washington Wine History Initiative.

WSU Tri‑Cities Chancellor Sandra Haynes said WSU Tri‑Cities was excited to partner.

“The Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center is a true gem for not only the regional wine industry, but for the extensive Washington wine industry state-wide and beyond,” she said. “We are elated to offer programming that will not only educate individuals about the history of Washington state wine, but also provide sensory and other hands-on experiences that will allow individuals to do a deep dive into all that Washington wine has to offer.”

Diahann Howard, PPM and executive director of the Port of Benton, said the partnership with WSU Tri‑Cities presents an ideal opportunity for the center.

“WSU’s alignment with regional wine and culinary education is indisputable and we’re delighted to take this next step with them in ensuring Dr. Clore’s memory is honored,” she said. 

Reopening of the Clore Center

In Dec. 2020, the previous operator of the Clore Center was forced to close the center’s doors as a result of difficulties resulting from the COVID‑19 pandemic. Given WSU Tri‑Cities’ established programs in wine sciencewine and beverage business management and hospitality business management, representatives from the Port of Benton reached out to WSU Tri‑Cities to see if the university would be interested in providing educational programming at the center focusing on wine and agriculture.

Educational programming led by WSU Tri‑Cities

Byron Marlowe

Byron Marlowe, WSU Tri‑Cities associate professor of hospitality and wine and beverage business management and Don Smith Distinguished Professor, will oversee educational programming at the center. He brings a wealth of knowledge in wine, culinary and hospitality business management. He recently returned home after teaching and completing research at the IMC University of Applied Sciences in Austria as part of the Fulbright Program, where he studied best practices for winery tasting room experiences that can be applied throughout the world.

Educational programming began at the center with students completing sensory components for the WSU Wine and Beverage Business Management Certificate. Additional educational opportunities, including those open to the public, will be available, soon.

As programming becomes available, more information will be posted about offerings and opportunities to engage with the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center on its new website at www.clorecenter.org.

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