Port cancels ribbon-cutting for Kennewick wine village because of heat

The Port of Kennewick has canceled plans to celebrate the latest phase of its wine-oriented village on Columbia Drive because of extreme heat in the forecast on July 28.

The forecast calls for temperatures of up to 111 degrees.

“We’re taking this precaution because these high temperatures can negatively impact the health of those attending, organizing or serving the event,” said Tim Arntzen, the port’s CEO.

The ribbon-cutting event at 313 E. Columbia Gardens Way will be rescheduled.

The festivities were to celebrate the second phase of Columbia Gardens Urban Wine & Artisan Village, created to transform a section of the East Columbia Drive waterfront near the cable bridge into a center for wineries, food and future development.

Columbia Gardens is home to four wineries. Bartholomew and Monarcha were the first to move into the complex. Gordon Estate Winery and Muret-Gaston Winery moved into the second phase, with the latter taking over the space vacated by Cave B Winery during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The second phase also added a food truck plaza, currently home to Culture Shock Bistro, Ann’s Best Creole & Soul Food, Taste of Wok, Only Tacos, Boblastic and Swampy’s BBQ.

The second phase was funded by the port, city of Kennewick, the Benton County Rural Capital Fund, a grant from the Hanford Area Economic Investment Fund and other local agencies.

The port broke ground on the initial phase in 2016 as part of a long-term vision to lure visitors to what had been an industrial stretch of Columbia Drive. The property is across the street from Zip’s Drive-In. The city supported the work by installing sidewalks, landscaping, trees and it developed a system to pretreat winery wastewater, a critical investment to enable wine production.

The port leases space to tenants. Future phases will extend the development along port-owned land adjacent to Duffy’s Pond.

Swampy’s BBQ, a food truck plaza tenant, has bought a small site at Columbia Gardens and is preparing to develop a permanent home and walk-up counter for the business. There are several other lots available.

Go to portofkennewick.org/projects.

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