Summer camps to serve up tennis, cuisine and wine

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Wine and tennis lovers have an ace in a summer camp program that makes its return to Walla Walla next year.

After two successful seasons, the Walla Walla Tennis and Wine Camps will be offered again next year, organizers have announced.

A series of camps planned for June and July combine world-class tennis coaching with Walla Walla wine country — touring, education and winemaker dinners.

Three camp dates have been announced: June 13-16; July 11-14; and July 18-21. The camps are each open to 24 participants and are expected to fill quickly.

Participating wineries and chefs will differ with each camp, but some of the highlights of the wine aspect will include a rare vineyard tour and winemaker dinner with Chris Figgins of Figgins Family Estate and Leonetti; a winemaker dinner prepared by chef Dan Thiessen of the Wine Country Culinary Institute at Charles Smith Wines; and a dinner at the exclusive Cadaretta Glass House that overlooks the estate vineyard.

On the tennis side, the camp will bring back Boise State tennis coach Greg Patton, who has helped shape American tennis and worked with Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Michael Chang and Andy Roddick, among other tennis greats. He has also coached World Team Tennis in Boise and St. Louis.

Joining him to assist will be Whitman College coaches Jeff Northam and John Hein. Northam has led the Whitman College men’s team the past 15 years and turned it into one of the top Division III programs in the country. In 2012, he guided the team to its fifth straight Northwest Conference title and the teams highest ranking of eighth in the nation. He was recently named Division III West Region Coach of the Year.

Hein guided the women’s team to its first NCAA III tournament appearance in 2012, as well as the Northwest Conference tournament title. Two of his players were invited to the NCAA III singles tournament. He previously worked for the Lawn Tennis Association and was a member of the UC Santa Cruz National Championship team.

For more details on the camp itinerary or to register, visit tennisandwinecamps.com.

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