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Walla Walla Winemakers Go On Tour To Woo Urban Drinkers

Washington winemakers are hitting the road in an effort to court upwardly mobile city dwellers while they’re still developing their taste for wine. And they’re taking their show on the road in increasingly flashy style.

Duane Wollmuth, head of the Walla Walla Wine Alliance, says wine regions are increasingly marketing themselves on several sophisticated levels. First, they’re pushing American wine over Europe and South America. Second, they’d like it to be a Northwest bottle.

And now they want you to try the unique flavors of each specific region.

To get the message across, winemakers are going on tour. Recently, Wollmuth and his Walla Walla cadre spent tens of thousands of dollars trolling fresh vintages in New York, Seattle and Portland.

“We try to get the wineries out and about so that people can get exposed to Walla Walla wines and really learn about the industry here,” he said, adding he hopes the fans will eventually plan a trip to the region.

The next event featuring small plates and loads of fermented juice from Walla Walla is set for later this month in Portland. Next year, they’re looking toward Austin, Texas and San Francisco.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.