WALLA WALLA -- Precept Wine Brands has ridden a wave of success with The Chocolate Shop wine and unveiled a tasting room in the heart of downtown Walla Walla that features it.
The new tasting room is one of two Precept opened over Spring Release weekend in May.
The other is the return of the Canoe Ridge Tasting Room, adjacent to the Canoe Ridge Winery, at 1102 E. Cherry St.
Seattle-based Precept bought Canoe Ridge Vineyard in 2011 and the tasting room had not operated for more than two years. Jodi Hummer led an interior renovation, retaining the cozy footprint and counter seating.
Precept previously operated its Walla Walla Wine Works at The Chocolate Shop site at 31 E. Main St. for the company's array of labels. But surging sales of the niche market chocolate-flavored wine reportedly inspired the change.
Reports have said as many as 1.2 million bottles, using a California wine as a base, were sold almost entirely in the U.S. in 2011. International demand has swelled with a release using a Spanish wine last November in the United Kingdom.