More tourists using smart phone app to check out Valley wineries

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WALLA WALLA -- A smart phone application introduced last year on behalf of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance is being used by more wine tourists every day, according to the latest update from the vintner-grower alliance.

Use of the Mobile Wine Tour application after its launch was about 36 people per day on average. That figure has more than doubled to about 77 users per day this spring.

The numbers rocketed during two of the biggest tourist weekends of the spring this month. During Spring Release the first weekend in May, more than 800 people accessed the app. It had more than 500 users during the Balloon Stampede later in the month, said Shontina Gianotti-Coers, the alliance's marketing director.

The app was developed for the alliance by Tacoma-based SiteCrafting. The GPS-based application allows users to locate tasting rooms and their operating hours, find wineries that produce certain types of wine, and track down restaurants, lodging and other attractions.

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