All-inclusive wine map hits streets

Tourism Walla Walla has issued a comprehensive map that aims to cover all the area's wineries.

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Now available at the information kiosk downtown and tourism office, new GIS maps produced by the City of Walla Walla are being used by Tourism Walla Walla to chart all established wineries throughout the Walla Walla valley, diving the region into vinus hot spots. Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WALLA WALLA -- The most comprehensive map of Walla Walla Valley wineries offers more than directions. It practically serves as a trip planner.

At least that's the goal for Tourism Walla Walla, which took a whole new route in mapping out the more than 100 wineries of the Valley.

The end product not only lists every tasting room from Dayton to Milton-Freewater and west to Touchet, it also divides them into regions. And if, by some twist of fate, a winery has been left off, the addition is easy to make since the maps are available in PDF format online. An initial 20,000 tear-sheet copies have also been printed.

The timing of its release around Holiday Barrel Tasting weekend was no coincidence, said Tourism Walla Walla Chief Executive Officer Michael Davidson. The upcoming wine tasting weekend is one of the industry's biggest annual events.

"I think it offers the opportunity to make it easier for people to begin to plan," Davidson said Tuesday. "We can provide visitors with good information to help them plan their trips. Provide a little more structure."

With so many wineries and so many newcomers to town, the map is intended to help visitors organize their tasting trips. Wineries are categorized based on location: Westside wineries, Southside wineries, Oregon wineries, Downtown wineries and Eastside wineries.

"The point was to be able to get people to wineries in as easy a manner as possible," Davidson explained. "Somebody thinks they can go from L'Ecole to Dunham Cellars to Pepper Bridge all in an hour and a half -- it's not really realistic."

Michele Rennie, Tourism Walla Walla's board chairwoman, compiled the list of wineries. Tourism Walla Walla partnered with the city's Geographic Information System team to create the map, which includes the addresses of wineries and telephone numbers.

The $2,100 project was printed by Color Press. The initial run was 20,000 copies printed in tear-sheet format and available at the Tourism Walla Walla Visitor Center, 26 E. Main St., major hotels, bed-and-breakfasts and the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Davidson said those who print the maps from Tourism Walla Walla's site should use large format paper.

As new wineries open their doors, the city's GIS team, led by Chris Owen, can easily update the map.

"It's a telephone call," Davidson said.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

The download one of Tourism Walla Walla's new wine maps, visit: http://www.wallawalla.org/vineyards.

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