Walla Walla wine event back with new name, focus

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WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance’s signature wine event is coming back next year with a new name and broader focus.

The event formerly known as Vintage Walla Walla will return in 2013 as Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine, the alliance announced.

The 2012 version was canceled while organizers worked on revamping the annual wine event. The new version will highlight a different wine variety each year and also feature winemakers from two of the world’s premier wine regions. The focus this year is on cabernet sauvignon.

Duane Wollmuth, executive director of the alliance, said guest winemakers will be announced in coming months. However, the regions from which they’ll be coming have been revealed: California’s Napa Valley and France’s Bordeaux region.

One other major change in 2013 will be collaboration and co-sponsorship. In the past, Vintage Walla Walla was exclusively funded and organized by the wine alliance. Now it will be a collaboration among partners, including the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation and Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The launch in 2013 will also be assisted with $15,000 contributions each from the city of Walla Walla and Port of Walla Walla. Additional advertising and promotion from Tourism Walla Walla and other sponsors is expected to be announced.

The event will take place June 20-22 starting with a reception, barbecue and vintage wine pour. It will continue the second day with a welcome kickoff and include a get-together at Waterbrook Winery. The final day will conclude with winemaker dinners throughout the Valley. Tickets will be available for purchase starting Jan. 1.

More details are available at wallawallawine.com/celebrate.

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