Celebration of syrah begins tonight

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Wine-lovers will find a good reason to celebrate this weekend.

The return of “Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine” takes place with a spotlight on syrah.

Wine producers from world-renowned syrah-growing regions have descended upon Walla Walla for the weekend of tastings, forums and dinners.

The 2014 Celebrate event starts with a vintage pour tasting tonight of a number of Walla Walla Valley wines from the 2007 vintage or earlier.

It continues Friday with a kickoff event at Gesa Power House Theatre, featuring Wine & Spirits wine critic Patrick Comiskey and geologist Kevin Pogue. A special winemaker panel moderated by sommelier and winemaker Rajat Parr will treat guests to a rare chance to compare and contrast wines from the Walla Walla Valley, Paso Robles and Sonoma, Calif., and the Yarra Valley, Australia.

The lineup of wines for that includes “Fred the Hummingbird,” a 2010 estate syrah from áMaurice Cellars, Walla Walla; 2010 Gramercy Cellars Syrah, Walla Walla; 2011 “The Contender” syrah from Reynvaan Family Vineyards, Walla Walla; 2012 Wind Gap syrah from Wind Gap Wines, Sonoma; 2010 Healesville syrah from Jamsheed Wines, Yarra Valley; and 2012 Block 22 Reserve Syrah from Halter Ranch Vineyard, Paso Robles.

Afterward, participants will be treated to a special tasting of syrah and Rhone-style wines from 45 Walla Walla wineries during a dinner with chefs Andrae Bopp, Antonio Campolio and Jim Cooley. Tickets for various events throughout the weekend are at wallawallawine.com/celebrate.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at 509-526-8321, vickihillhouse@wwub.com or on Twitter.

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