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Prosser Teams Up With Region That Invented Wine. By Whitney Ward

Posted 04/21/2011

It's hard to walk down the street in Prosser and not notice the influence of wine in the community.

From supply shops, to cafes, to the big wineries themselves, it is a huge part of the city's identity, and what it hopes to become.

City Administrator Charlie Bush says Prosser has a "goal to try and incorporate designs from wine regions around the world here."

It's why Council members approved a "Sister City" agreement with the Vani Municipality in the Republic of Georgia.

The small cluster of villages nestled in the tiny country just outside of Russia is credited with inventing wine itself. Historians say people there have been fermenting grape juice in signature clay jugs for more than 8,000 years. Today, an estimated 80 percent of Georgians earn at least some income from producing wine.

"We're really excited to be able to partner with the Vani Municipality and the Republic of Georgia," says Bush. "Georgia is known as the birthplace of wine, Prosser is known as the birthplace of Washington wine, so it's a really great connection."

And city leaders hope that connection will cultivate lifelong partnerships for trade, education, and culture. Bush will leave for the Republic of Georgia on a two-week trip. While there, he and Georgian officials will sign the official documents to enter into the Sister City agreement.