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Line-Up of Renowned Winemakers and Wine Critics Announced for 2013 Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine Event

Organizers of the 2013 Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine- The World of Cabernet Sauvignon, along with headline sponsors Banner Bank and Wine & Spirits Magazine, announced six leading wineries and winemakers, and two of the industry’s most influential wine critics and writers, will appear as part of the special event weekend June 20-22. The Walla Walla Valley wine region will be represented by Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellar and Rick Small of Woodward Canyon, the Valley’s first two commercially licensed wineries and among its most widely acclaimed. Joining Figgins and Small from the Walla Walla Valley will be Jean Francois Pellet, winemaker for Pepper Bridge Winery and Amavi Cellars, one of the Valley’s top Cabernet Sauvignon producers. Representing California’s Napa Valley will be several leading Cabernet Sauvignon producers, including Chappellet Winery, TOR Winery, and Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery. Appearing on behalf of these wineries will be winemakers Jeff Ames, winemaker for TOR and Rudius wineries; Phillip Corallo-Titus, winemaker for Chappellet and Titus wineries; and Landon Donley, assistant winemaker for Spottswoode Winery. The weekend’s events will also provide an opportunity to taste wines from over 70 other Walla Walla Valley wineries.

The Walla Walla Valley and Napa Valley winemakers will appear alongside well known wine writers Patrick Comiskey, domestic wine critic for all states outside of California for Wine & Spirits Magazine, and Paul Gregutt, Northwest Editor for Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Comiskey and Gregutt were recently recognized by Michael Cervin of IntoWine.com as two of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the U.S. Wine Industry. Also joining this year’s guests will be Dr. Kevin Pogue, Geologist and Terroir Consultant, who is one of the foremost experts on geology and the wine industry.

According to Duane Wollmuth, executive director of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, lead organizer for the 2013 Celebrate event, “we are ecstatic to have the special guest line-up we have for this year’s event. The Celebrate event has been restructured to showcase a different wine varietal each year and how the Walla Walla Valley compares and contrasts with some of the world’s other leading wine regions. Certainly the Napa Valley is that benchmark for Cabernet Sauvignon. The aim of this event is to provide a forum for attendees to not only learn more about Walla Walla Valley wines, but also to learn how Cabernet Sauvignon wines can differ among the world’s leading regions as a result of different growing conditions, winemaking styles, and vineyards.”

The 2013 Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine event will begin on Thursday (June 20) afternoon with a vintage pour of a limited number of wines from the 2006 vintage or earlier, followed by a larger wine reception and dinner. Friday (June 21) activities will include the featured winemaker panel presentation and tasting, followed by another special wine tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon wines and a dinner. Saturday (June 22) will conclude the weekend’s organized group winery events with a series of winemaker dinners around the Walla Walla Valley.

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 Wine Alliance functions as the leading informational resource for consumers, media and trade interested in learning more about the Valley’s wine industry. More information about the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, details of Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine- the World of Cabernet Sauvignon, and event tickets can be found at www.wallawallawine.com/celebrate.