Holiday Barrel Tasting kicks off today

More than 50 local wineries have special plans for the annual sample of coming releases.

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WALLA WALLA -- More than 50 of the Walla Walla Valley's 100-plus wineries are bedecked for this weekend's Holiday Barrel Tasting event.

Thousands of guests are expected to make their way to town this weekend for the annual tasting tradition.

Many will also be offering events as unique as the wines themselves, according to an announcement from the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance.

From live music to locally catered spreads, each participating winery is crafting an experience at its tasting room.

Among the must-see visits, according to Walla Walla Wine News: Tero Estates and Flying Trout will host a bonfire and s'mores roasting at their Windrow Vineyards site; Le Chateau Winery will host a "Chocolate Extravaganza" with what is described as the largest edible display of chocolate to pair with the wines on Aeronca Avenue; book signings with Paul Gregutt, author of "Washington Wines and Wineries: The Essential Guide" at Cadaretta/Artifex and Dunham Cellars Friday evening and Walla Walla Vintners and Woodward Canyon on Saturday. Author Steve Roberts will sign his "Wine Trails of Walla Walla" at Northstar on Saturday and Le Chateau on Sunday.

Music is also expected at various wineries, as well as an array of food. But wine will ultimately be center stage. To see a listing of participating wineries, hours of operation, tasting fees and special events, visit www.wallawalla.wine.com/holidaybarrel.

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