Cork recycling project to launch

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On a weekend when wineries will pour new releases, a local organization will focus on collecting their corks.

The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance will officially launch its cork recycling project during Autumn Release Weekend this weekend. Through its partnerships the cork is repurposed for a line of cork-blended footwear products and packaging materials.

The alliance -- a grower and winery membership organization dedicated to building awareness of local wineries, wines and vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley Appellation -- began a partnership last January with ReCORK, a North American-based wine cork recycling program sponsored by Amorim of Portugal and SOLE of Canada. The recycling effort reflects a core sustainability value of the organization, according to an announcement on the weekend's collection efforts.

"As a grower and winery trade association with a commitment toward sustainable grape growing and winery operations, it is appropriate for us to be involved in this effort," said alliance board President Devin Stinger, in a prepared statement.

Alliance members will have cork collection boxes set up at their facilities. Some will also accept corks for recycling from the public. A central collection point will also be established. Those corks will be shipped to ReCORK's Canadian marketing partner SOLE, a footwear product manufacturer.

For more details, visit SOLE's website at www.yoursole.com ; ReCORK at www.recork.org ; or the wine alliance at www.wallawallawine.com.

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If you missed an open house event Thursday for the new Primitive Craft fireplace manufacturer that opened next to Lowden Hills Winery, there's still time for a little "fire and wine" this weekend.

Both businesses will be showcasing their wares throughout the weekend at 1401 W. Pine St.

Primitive Craft, owned by Kamron and Cicely Coleman, recently opened in a neighboring suite to Lowden Hills Winery, which is owned by Jim and Sonja Henderson. The two businesses paired for an open house Thursday.

They'll also operate 10 a.m.-5 p.m. today through Sunday.

Primitive Craft offers patented Storm Lantern Outdoor Fireplaces. Kamron Coleman, an artisan stonemason, creates stone and concrete projects showcased throughout the Northwest. He also manufactures fireplaces onsite. Twelve models are currently available for viewing.

To learn more about the businesses, call Lowden Hills at 527-1040 or visit www.lowdenhillswinery.com; and Primitive Craft LLC at 522-8434 and www.kamroncoleman.com .

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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