Red Mountain Wineries
BENTON CITY, Wash. - There are big plans for wineries in Benton City. Owners said there are two new wineries that are almost complete and six more on the way.
There are 11 open in the Red Mountain area currently.
The Red Mountain Estates Association is a group made up of mostly grape growers that are trying to bring more tourists and wineries to our area. They said it could take many years but they have big ideas.
Ceil du Cheval Winery Owner Jim Holmes said, "We thought, what can we do that's different, that would make people come here and enjoy our wines."
Holmes is a pioneer in the local wine industry. He said, "When I got here there was nothing. No people no power just sagebrush."
Holmes is a member of the association that is working to bring more tourists and wineries to the area. He said, "We want to transform Red Mountain from what it is now into one of the nations most desirable wine spots."
Eventually they would like to turn the Red Mountain area into a wine village with restaurants, bed and breakfast resorts and 40 different wineries. The group has visions of picnic areas, walking trails, and parks.
Kiona Owner John Williams said, "The more wineries the better. As long as everyone makes good wine it always adds to the experience of the tourists."
Williams has recently built a new facility for his Kiona operation. It is expected to be finished by the end of March. He welcomes the planned changes.
Williams said, "We're just happy to be in the Red Mountain area. It's gotten a lot of recognition and that's good for all of us."
Holmes said, "We want this to be a place that you will be trilled to come to, especially if you're a wine tourist."
Holmes said getting enough water on the mountain is a challenge but they are currently working with Kennewick Irrigation District.