What is the Wind & Wine Tour?
The Wind & Wine Tour was for anyone interested in learning more about Green Power. To get an idea of what the trip was like, below is a description of some past tours. You can also visit the 2007, 2006 or 2005 trip photo galleries or view a clip from our 2005 Wind & Wine Tour video (WMV).
What do we do on the Wind & Wine Tour?
In 2007 we watched as workers erected 2.3 Megawatt turbines for the White Creek Project in the wind blown wheat fields of Bickelton. Not only will the wind projects generate power but revenue for the farmers and county government. After spending Friday night at the Marcus Whitman Hotel in Walla Walla and enjoying a leisure Saturday morning at the public market we headed north to the community of Dayton to visit the Hopkins Ridge Wind Project. This 150 MW wind farm is owned by Puget Sound Energy. This year we were able to access the inside of a operating turbine which was a real treat for everyone. Sunday we stopped at Sleeping Dog Wines in Benton City and enjoyed a beautiful view of the Yakima River while eating lunch. We made sure that we stopped in a Kiona Winery to see their state of the art facilities before heading home over Snoqualmie Pass. There is always a little bit of sadness to see the weekend come to an end as we departed the bus and made sure everyone got their wine and luggage.
In 2006, we spent two days and nights at the historical Marcus Whitman Hotel in Walla Walla, an area that offers over 80 wineries and one of the world’s largest privately owned wind farms. On the way there, we visited several wineries in the Prosser and Benton areas. After lunching in Benton City’s Sleeping Dog Winery (which overlooks the Yakima River) we headed for the Stateline Wind Project (SWP) outside of Walla Walla. On Saturday morning, we rolled through picturesque wheat farms in Walla Walla and Columbia Counties on our way to visit the Hopkins Ridge Wind Project. A good time was had by all as we learned about wind power and enjoyed many Washington wines.
In 2004, we visited two wind farms and one hydroelectric dam, so we could experience the differences between these two types of power systems. We also stopped by several local wineries to enjoy wine tastings along the way. Energy Northwest, a public power consortium, owns and operates the Nine Canyon Wind Project in Kennewick; this was our first stop. Next we crossed the Columbia River and headed to Walla Walla. While we were there, we toured the Stateline Wind Project, owned by Florida Power and Light, the world's largest, privately-owned wind system. That night, we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Walla Walla. The next morning we visited the Public Market in Walla Walla, and then traveled out of town to the Three Rivers Winery for lunch, a wine tasting and a round of golf. From there, we journeyed on down the Washington side of the Columbia River to the Maryhill Winery and visited the famous Maryhill Museum. That night's accommodations were provided by the Best Western Hotel in Cascade Locks. The last morning of our tour included the Bonneville Dam and a box lunch at Multnomah Falls Park prior to returning home.
In 2005, we also visited the future 67,000 acre site of the White Creek Wind Project (by Last Mile Electric Cooperative) in the Roosevelt/Goldendale area of Klickitat county.
The Dam Tour 2008
We will not be taking the traditional Wind and Wine tour in 2008. This year we will be taking a day trip to the Diablo Dam in the scenic North Cascades. On Friday June 13, 2008 the tour bus will leave from the Kimball Drive Park n Ride at 7:00 a.m. and return by approximately 7:00 p.m. The trip is $95.00 per person and includes: Transportation, the Diablo Dam Lake Adventure Cruise and the Diablo Dam Good Dinner. Space is limited. Call 253.857.1526 or email email@example.com for reservations or additional information.