Canoe Ridge keeps oar in water for another week

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Canoe Ridge Vineyards may have more time than originally believed -- but only by a few days.

A spokeswoman for international drinks company Diageo Plc, which owns Canoe Ridge under its Diageo Chateau & Estate wines umbrella, said the public tasting room at the Cherry Street winery will operate for another week.

Word initially was that the tasting room, started by a group of local investors as one of the first 10 wineries in the Valley before it changed hands among larger beverage companies, was expected to close Friday.

Diageo spokeswoman Kristen Crofoot said the tasting room's last day will be next Wednesday.

Company officials have said they plan to continue Canoe Ridge's wine production, but that the tasting room is closing as part of a cost-cutting initiative at a half-dozen wineries from California to Washington. The company's wine sales were reportedly hit by the recession and have been slow to rebound. Diageo also owns Smirnoff, Guinness and Jos Cuervo, as well as a number of other beverages.

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The Department of Revenue will offer a free tax workshop for new and small-business owners Thursday.

Excise taxes, reporting classifications, deductions, tax incentives, sales-tax collection and record-keeping requirements will be the focus of the discussion that runs 9-10:30 a.m. at WorkSource Walla Walla, 1530 Stevens St.

Space is limited. To register, call 509-735-0930.

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One Walla Walla winery plus pancakes equals a recipe for breakfast at the Walla Walla Valley Farmers Market this weekend.

K Vintners and Charles Smith Wines will present a Farmers Market Pancake Breakfast from 8-11 a.m. Saturday.

Tickets are $5 per person. Proceeds benefit the Farmers Market, as well as Walla Walla Crime Watch.

Guests can purchase a ticket at the event, which takes place at Fourth Avenue and Main Street, or in advance at Falkenberg's Jewelers, the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce office, the Destination Walla Walla booth or by calling 520-3647.

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The YMCA is hosting a "Spring into Summer Fun Run" this weekend.

The run/walk takes place at 8 a.m. Saturday and starts at the Bennington Lake parking lot.

Runners have a choice of a five- or 10-mile event, while walkers can choose between one and three miles.

The fun run is free to YMCA members and $5 for nonmembers. Registration will take place at 7:30 a.m. the day of the race or at the YMCA in the days before. For more information, call Christy Druffel at 525-8863.

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Exercise physiologist Beth Fineran is offering a prenatal class for moms-to-be.

During the last Tuesday of every month, starting next week, Fineran will help expectant mothers with prenatal exercise sessions at Clark-Arias Physical Therapy, 275 W. Tietan St.

The hourlong sessions begin at noon. Participants should wear comfortable clothing and be prepared for a little workout. Arrangements for child care should be made in advance. For more details, call Fineran at 522-0114.

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

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