Wine fine for Ridgefield port

first_imgThe Port of Ridgefield is adding the wine industry to its portfolio of economic development projects in hopes of boosting existing wineries and encouraging new ones to crop up.The port’s three-member Board of Commissioners on Wednesday voted unanimously to bolster its comprehensive development plan with a policy that enables the port to pursue capital projects, marketing efforts and zoning regulations to pump up the wine industry in north Clark County.The port hasn’t identified specific projects yet. Nor has it set aside money to pay for them. But the policy the port adopted lays the groundwork for those actions to occur.It also illustrates the continuing effort by the port — a governing and taxing district that encompasses 57 square miles, or 36,480 acres — to shape how north Clark County grows. A study of the wine industry commissioned by the port found Clark County to be “an emerging wine production area” with “close proximity to both the Seattle and Portland markets, which have a combined population of 5.6 million.”The port’s decision to uncork a wine industry development policy came as good news to Jeremy Brown, owner of Rusty Grape Vineyard in Battle Ground. The more prominent the north Clark County wine industry becomes, he said, the more it will show up on the radar of tourists. And that means every winery wins, since people visit more than one winery when they go on tours, Brown said. “It’s all positive.”last_img

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