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Attendance, Satisfaction high for 2015 Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine, The World of Merlot

WALLA WALLA WA – Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine continues to break records, as organizers call the third annual event the most successful one yet. Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine – The World of Merlot reached a near sellout, as 540+ people purchased tickets to the weekend’s events June 18-20, 2015. Attendees experienced special tastings of rare vintage wines, educational seminars and talks, and one-of-a-kind winemaker dinners. The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance also hosted 18 media from around the United States and Canada, guest winemakers from California, Italy and France, Master Sommelier Fred Dame and world renowned Wine Critic Stephen Tanzer for the event.

There was a 20-percent increase in the number of guests compared to last year. In a post-event survey, nine of out ten attendees rated the event “very good” or “excellent” and nearly all attendees said they would recommend the event to a friend. When given an opportunity for open-ended comments, many attendees noted the exceptional food, engaging winemakers and fascinating educational components. Attendees were also impressed with the weekend’s venues, which included Dunham Cellars, The Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, Gesa Power House Theatre, Reid Center at Whitman College and a number of wineries.

Participating businesses (i.e. wineries, sponsors and hospitality partners) also found the Celebrate weekend very successful, with the great majority of survey respondents rating the event “very good” or “excellent.” One-hundred percent of survey respondents said the weekend should be continued next year.

 “The Walla Walla Valley made an extremely positive impact on our visitors,” said Duane Wollmuth, Executive Director of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance. “One-hundred percent of survey respondents said they felt either very or extremely safe during the Celebrate weekend. We find this to be reflective of the quality of life and security we feel in the Walla Walla Valley every single day.”

Seventy-five percent of attendees traveled more than 50 miles to Walla Walla, and roughly a quarter came from Canadian provinces or states outside of Washington.

 “Celebrate is becoming a ‘must attend’ event for wine lovers around the world,” Wollmuth said. “We will continue to raise the bar every year to keep attracting people to the Valley.”

The Celebrate event is structured to showcase a different wine varietal each year (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah or Merlot), as well as show how wines can differ among the World’s leading regions as a result of different growing conditions, winemaking styles, and vineyards. In 2016, the event will return its focus to Cabernet Sauvignon with another fantastic line-up of guest speakers and renowned winemakers. Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine – The World of Cabernet Sauvignon will take place June 16-18, 2016 in Walla Walla, Washington.