New distillery opens in West Richland - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New distillery opens in West Richland

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WEST RICHLAND, Wash.- A new tasting room is open in the Tri-Cities, but it's not a winery.  Black Heron Spirits is a new distillery in West Richland, where you can taste or buy liquor made there.

The owner, Joel Tefft, started the project a year and a half ago and is now making gin, vodka, and corn whiskey.   He'll soon start crafting other whiskies, brandy, and limoncello. 

Tefft used to own Tefft Cellars, the winery in Outlook, but sold it to start Black Heron distillery.  He hopes the distillery brings business to the area and helps the local economy.  He explains, "We try to use Washington products because we want to use Washington products, but it's also state mandated that 51% of our products contain Washington products.  So, we're using local grain and barley, corn from Connell."

Tefft hopes to produce about 2,000 cases this year.  Each bottle costs between $25 and $35.  Black Heron is located off Keene Road and Van Giesen Street.  There will be a ribbon cutting and official grand opening on October 1.