Vintners leases portion of Portís Crown Cork & Seal Building
Port has entered into a lease agreement with MPM Vintners
for 16,000 square feet within the Port-owned Crown Cork &
Seal building. MPM Vintners will offer an
array of wine making services, ranging from sourcing and crushing
of valley grown grapes, to fermentation, aging, bottling,
and labeling of wines according to customer specifications.
MPM Vintners will employ its own winemaker and staff working
under the direction of Norm McKibben and Jean-Francois Pellet.
Port Commission President Paul Schneidmiller
said, “MPM Vintners will be a great anchor tenant. The
Port feels fortunate to be working with a group so
Cellars expands winery on Port property
is a successful example of the public-private partnership
that works well for Walla Walla Valley wineries that have
chosen the airport industrial park for their operations. Mike
Dunham and his son, Eric, owners of the seven-year old winery
have recently completed a major expansion of their plant on
Port-owned property. The Dunhams said the decision to build
the new 10,000 square foot structure on land leased from the
Port made sense because of the success enjoyed with their
original location. Mike Dunham said building next to Dunham
Cellars first site allowed the winemakers to meld the state-of-the-art
features of the new space with what was already there. The
added structure provides a temperature and humidity controlled
environment for up to 1,800 barrels and includes a modern
laboratory plus a conference room that quickly converts to
a studio apartment for visiting wine writers and customers.
Dunham Cellars opened at its present airport location in 1999.
Cork & Seal Building at 1106 Dell Avenue,Walla Walla,
will house new wine making operation. Photo by Lasater
valued support from the Port of Walla Walla has made a significant
difference to more than two dozen major employers in Walla
Walla County. And while each has benefited in individual ways,
the end result has been a growing number of jobs and an increasingly
important gain in property tax income. According to Paul Schneidmiller,
Port Commission President, industry support includes funding
everything from transportation systems and site development
to shipping alternatives and manufacturing facilities. All
together, the 27 Port-assisted businesses tracked during 2005
(the most recent year for complete statistics) generated a
$179 million payroll for some 5,600 people. Schneidmiller
said the salary sum added up to 24.4 percent of total wages
in Walla Walla County. The number of workers represented more
than one fifth - 20.3 percent - of the county’s employed
workforce, he continued. Port Executive Director Jim Kuntz
explained that for every dollar the Port
in taxpayer support, businesses assisted by the Port pay back
more than $3.32 in property taxes. “It adds up to an
impressive return on investment,” Kuntz emphasized.
According to county records, companies assisted by the Port
paid more than $4.9 million in property taxes last year...a
number that amounts to 10 percent of all property taxes collected
by Walla Walla County in 2005.
out of the top 10 largest taxpayers in Walla Walla
are Port-assisted companies.
the 40 largest employers
in Walla Walla County, 11 are Port-assisted companies.
paid by companies
assisted by the Port in 2005