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Prestigious Wineries, Guest Speakers and Chefs to headline Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine – The World of Cabernet Sauvignon

February 1, 2016

WALLA WALLA, WA – More than 60 Walla Walla Valley winemakers, three internationally known guest winemakers, two Master Sommeliers and four award-winning chefs will come together this June for Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine – The World of Cabernet Sauvignon. The fourth annual event will held June 16-18, 2016 in Walla Walla, Washington.

“Celebrate continues to grow into one of the country’s top wine events, and we’re thrilled about this year’s lineup,” said Duane Wollmuth, Executive Director of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance.

Celebrate focuses on a different wine varietal each year (a rotation of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot), comparing the similarities and differences of the Walla Walla Valley with other leading wine regions around the world. The 2016 Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine event will begin the evening of Thursday, June 16 with a vintage pour tasting at Canoe Ridge Vineyard featuring a limited number of Walla Walla Valley wines from the 2009 vintage or earlier. Hearty hors d'oeuvres will be served by Chef Jake Crenshaw of Walla Walla’s Olive Marketplace and Café.

“Our Walla Walla Valley wineries pull out some really special bottles for the Vintage Pour event,” Wollmuth explained, “some of the wines are 10 years old and aging beautifully.” 

The following morning of June 17, Master Sommelier Thomas Burke and Master Sommelier/Master of Wine Doug Frost will serve as keynote speakers for a kick-off session at the historic Gesa Power House Theatre in downtown Walla Walla.  Burke oversees all business for the prestigious first growth Château Margaux in the United States, while Frost is one of four individuals in the world to hold simultaneously the Master of Wine and Master Sommelier titles.

After the kick-off event on Friday, Andy Perdue of Great Northwest Wine will moderate an afternoon panel made up of winemakers from the Walla Walla Valley, the Bordeaux region of France, Napa Valley, California and Millahue, Chile. Geologist Kevin Pogue will start the panel with an engaging talk on terroir, and then participants will have the rare opportunity to compare the growing conditions and wine styles from each region and taste Cabernet Sauvignon from all six producers:

John Freeman, Waterbrook Winery | Walla Walla Valley
Chuck Reininger, Reininger Winery | Walla Walla Valley
Gordy Venneri, Walla Walla Vintners | Walla Walla Valley
Thomas Burke, Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux | Bordeaux, France
Thomas Rivers Brown, Rivers-Marie | Napa Valley, California
Patrick Valette, VIK | Millahue, Chile

“What an amazing panel we have lined up for this year’s event,” Wollmuth said. “Participants are in for a real treat to learn about and taste Cabernet Sauvignon from such prominent wineries.”

The Friday evening tasting and dinner will have a new format this year. After the panel presentation, participants will be invited to take part in a grand tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon from 40+ Walla Walla Valley wineries, followed by a 4-course seated dinner created by three premier chefs:
Scott Mason, Ketchum Grill, Enoteca and Town Square Tavern | Ketchum, Idaho
Andrae Bopp, Andrae's Kitchen | Walla Walla
Jim Cooley, Bon Appetit | Walla Walla

Each dinner table will be hosted by a Walla Walla Valley winemaker, who will skillfully pair their wines with each course.

“We’re excited about the new format for the Friday night dinner, and to have Scott Mason join our local chefs in creating a spectacular menu,” Wollmuth said. “This dinner should be one to remember!”

Celebrate will wrap up on Saturday, June 18 with a series of small winemaker dinners around the valley. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016
Vintage Pour | Canoe Ridge Vineyard | 4:30-6:30 p.m. | Tickets: $75

Friday, June 17, 2016
Kick-off Event | Gesa Power House Theater | 8:30-10:00 a.m. | Complimentary Tickets
Winemaker Panel Presentations and Tastings | Marcus Whitman Hotel | 3:00-5:00 p.m. | Tickets: $55
Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Tasting & Dinner | Whitman College | 5:30-9:00 p.m. | Tickets: $95

Saturday, June 18, 2016
Winemaker Dinners around the Walla Walla Valley | 6:00-9:00 p.m. | Tickets: $125

Tickets on sale now at www.celebratewallawalla.com. 

Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine – The World of Cabernet Sauvignon is made possible by:

Headline Sponsors
Trysk Print Solutions
Banner Bank
Wine & Spirits
Visit Walla Walla

Gold Sponsor
McDonald-Zaring Insurance

Community Partners
Downtown Walla Walla Foundation
Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce
Port of Walla Walla
Walla Walla County

Media Sponsors
Great Northwest Wine
Northwest Wine Night
The Seattle Times
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

Silver Sponsors
Andrae’s Kitchen
Bella Fortuna Events & Tours
Black Tie Wine Tours
Columbia REA
Dream Ride Charters & Tours
ETS Laboratories
Gesa Power House Theatre
Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center
Olive Marketplace & Café
Pacific Power
SIP Northwest Magazine

About the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance
The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance is a non-profit wine industry membership organization whose primary mission is the marketing of the Walla Walla Valley’s American Viticultural Area (AVA). The WineAlliance functions as the leading informational resource for consumers, media and trade interested in learning more about the Valley’s wine industry.

Media Contacts:
Duane Wollmuth 
Executive Director, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance 
duane@wallawallawine.com | (509) 526-3117 office

Heather Bradshaw
Communications & Marketing Manager, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance heather@wallawallawine.com | (509) 526-3117 office

*Contact Heather for link to high resolution jpegs available for your use*