Changes On Red Mountain: More Land, More Wineries - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Changes On Red Mountain: More Land, More Wineries And More Business

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BENTON CITY, Wash.- The Kennewick Irrigation District is ready to auction off a large portion of land it's owned on Red Mountain since the 1940's. This sale will be one of the most valuable our region has ever seen.

"We've sold larger acreage of land, but not the value this land is very special," said Scott Musser of Musser Brothers who will be auctioning off the land.

Over 500 acres of land owned by the Kennewick Irrigation District will be auctioned off. In addition to more wineries popping up, the way water gets to the mountain is about to change.

"Well we could have sold the land without water at a much reduced price," explained Chuck Freeman the District Manager at KID. "Land with water, especially on Red Mountain is worth a lot more."

Thanks to a 10 million dollar check from the state and funding from 104 individuals who own land in the AVA a new pump system will be the irrigation method for Red Mountain.

"Well it's the only way to irrigate that area. A canal system is too expensive and not in the cards. This was the only cost effective means to irrigate 1,785 acres on the mountain," said Freeman.

"Never before, I mean this is unprecedented to have this much acreage to be brought to market in one day and made available and we're already receiving 2-3 calls a day for information from wine growers all over the country," said Musser.

New wine growers means more business on the mountain from tourists, more income to the state through liquor tax and more jobs for locals to work on the mountain. With the addition of the new pump system, which will provide more than enough renewable water sources, more wineries will be able to grow, flourish and produce some of the best wine in the business.

"I think it's going to be a watershed moment for Red Mountain because it's really going to bring a lot of new people to the mountain and to the area," said Musser.

For more information about the auction of the land go to www.mbauction.com or call 509-416-6060.

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