Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
06.21.2013  
 

Walla Walla Rebounds With New Wine Event

Local businesses help vintners create Celebrate Walla Walla, attracting 450

 
by Peter Mitham
 
 
celebrate walla walla
 
About 450 people attend Celebrate Walla Walla on Thursday night.
 
Walla Walla, Wash.—Celebrate Walla Walla’s launch Thursday marked the definitive rebound of the cross-border AVA’s wine industry from the woes of the 2008-09 recession. More than two years in the planning, Celebrate Walla Walla replaces Vintage Walla Walla, last held in 2011.

This year’s inaugural event attracted approximately 450 people (including a handful of hosted media from around the country). By Thursday, when Celebrate Walla Walla opened, attendees had bought more than 900 tickets for events that included seminars, tastings and dinners. Activities will continue through Saturday.

Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance executive director Duane Wollmuth, a former owner of Three Rivers Winery who took the helm of the alliance in 2011, kicked off the event Friday morning, saying the objective had been to leverage the bi-state viticultural area’s reputation and grow the previous event.

A tighter structure and collaborative partnerships were developed to bring this to pass.

“We decided to focus on a single variety—Cab this year, Syrah next year and Merlot the following year,” he said. “And, to make it a real learning opportunity, we decided to bring in guest winemakers from other leading regions around the world known for making those varieties.”

This year, winemakers and industry observers from Napa are giving attendees a chance to glean insights about what makes Walla Walla unique. Next year, the focus on Syrah will be amplified with perspectives from Australia, while representatives from the Rhône Valley will be tapped to weigh in on Merlot in 2015.

Wollmuth credited the executive of Downtown Walla Walla Foundation and Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce with helping the wine alliance secure key financial support from both the city and the Port of Walla Walla for the event, among other sponsors.

The event had previously been financed largely by the wine alliance, but the new partners have given the event a stable footing that’s allowed it to hone its presentation.

Given the importance of wine tourism to Walla Walla—it is credited with the addition of close to 500 jobs across the AVA since 1999—the partners appreciate the $100 million contribution the valley’s approximately 130 wineries contribute to the local economy.

Vicky McClellan of Seven Hills Winery said a successful local event such as the newly revitalized Celebrate Walla Walla promises to have a larger direct impact than an event such as the much-publicized Wine Bloggers Conference, which came to Walla Walla in 2010 with the support of the Washington State Wine Institute.

While the wine bloggers’ conference helped raise the profile of the region, tracking the impact of the publicity the event garnered was difficult.

“The responses are something you’ll never be able to track because people are buying elsewhere,” McClellan told Wines & Vines.

Celebrate Walla Walla only brings in people who booking hotel rooms, dining out and becoming familiar with what the region has to offer, McClellan said. Those same visitors are consumers who will both buy local wine while they’re here but also—ideally—establish relationships with local wineries that will deliver an ongoing revenue stream for local vintners.

With new wines from local wineries being devised annually, and even a new sub-appellation in the offing—the “Rocks of Milton-Freewater”—local vintners have put the recession behind them.

With infusions of new capital from Precept Wines, which have invested in both the Canoe Ridge and Waterbrook wineries as well as Charles Smith, who has his own ambitious growth plans (see “Charles Smith Positioned for Growth”), Walla Walla vintners are focused on the future.

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
October 2014 $570 million
6%
$7,775 million
6%
October 2013 $539 million $7,342 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
October 2014 $284 million
18%
$1,751 million
13%
October 2013 $240 million $1,556 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
October 2014 139
6%
226
18%
October 2013 131 192
     
 
MORE » Released on 11.13.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • November 16-23
     
    San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival
     
  • November 19-23
     
    Flavor! Napa Valley
     
  • November 20-21
     
    San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers annual meeting
     
  • November 20-22
     
    Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Kluge Saga Continues in Virginia »
 
Not everybody likes Pat Kluge, but she and Moses built a first class winery /...
Reader: Josh Moser
 
Article: Canada Adapts to Kegged Wines »
 
I am a wine agent in Manitoba & there certainly are kegs of cider here....
Reader: Guest
 
Article: What's Your Winery's IP Worth? »
 
If you would like more information on this seminar please visit The Seminar Group's website....
Reader: Danielle Bingham
 
Article: DtC Is Lifeblood of Wineries, Banker Says »
 
Seems like another locical option would be to have more small niche distrbutors. Consolidation of...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Tasting Wine From PD-Resistant Grapes »
 
Congratulations Andy! Lots of grapebreeders and southern growers will be looking through the catalogs. i...
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Viticulturist 1 (Grape...
 Modesto, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Assistant Winemaker
 Healdsburg, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Cellar Worker 3
 Napa, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Market Sales Manager
 San Diego, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Pernod Ricard Retail A...
 Cheyenne, WY
Sales and Marketing
 Sales Consultants
 Fairfield & New Haven Counties, CT
Sales and Marketing
 Territory Sales Repres...
 Monterey, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Fine Wine And Spirits ...
 New York, NY
Sales and Marketing
 Accounting Clerk
 King City, CA
Finance
 Experienced Lab Tech/B...
 King City, CA
Winemaking and Production
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.