Event Schedule and Tickets Announced for Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine – Merlot

The Walla Walla Valleys signature wine event will focus on Merlot this July with tastings, educational events and intimate winemaker dinners.


WALLA WALLA, WA – The Walla Walla Valley’s signature wine event, Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine – Merlot, is slated for July 13-15, 2023. Celebrate showcases a different wine varietal each year, highlighting the unique qualities of wine grown and made in the region. The 2023 event will honor Merlot, the third most widely grown grape variety in the Walla Walla Valley.


“The Walla Walla Valley is recognized as a top producer of premium Merlot -– it can shine as a single varietal or lend elegance and structure to blends,” says Liz Knapke, Executive Director of  Walla Walla Valley Wine. “We look forward to honoring this noble varietal during Celebrate. There is no better time to meet face-to-face with winemakers who are crafting Walla Walla Valley Merlot than during this event.”


The Celebrate event series will commence on Thursday afternoon with a kick-off talk that will explore the distinctive qualities and significance of Merlot, followed by Vintage Pour, an exclusive library tasting. Vintage Pour will feature wines aged for ten years or more from over 40 Walla Walla Valley wineries. This year’s Vintage Pour will be hosted in the cellars of L’Ecole No 41 as they celebrate their 40th anniversary.


On Friday, guests will be treated to a wine panel where they will enjoy Merlot from the Walla Walla Valley and around the world while winemakers engage in a lively discussion on acclaimed Merlot growing regions. The Wine Panel Presentation and Tasting is an immersive experience that demonstrates how wines vary among the world’s leading regions. Friday culminates with a Collaborative Winemaker Dinner Series – a long-standing tradition in the region. Ticket holders experience an exclusive evening in the Walla Walla Valley as winemakers and chefs come together to create intimate food and wine experiences at locations throughout the region.


The event series concludes with the Merlot Grand Tasting, the largest organized tasting event of the year in the Walla Walla Valley with around 50 wineries pouring their latest Merlot releases, white wines, sparkling wines and rosés. This year’s Grand Tasting will take place in the heart of downtown Walla Walla, at the new Corliss Motor Co. venue.


“Merlot from the Walla Walla Valley represents the highest expression of this varietal, and we are excited to welcome wine enthusiasts to the Walla Walla Valley to celebrate with us this summer,” says Knapke.


Attendees can purchase tickets to the events of their choosing individually or opt for a Super Pass to gain entry to all the weekend’s events. More event details, including participating wineries, event speakers and dinner locations will be announced this spring. Tickets are on sale now.

Schedule at a Glance

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Kick-Off Event at Gesa Power House Theatre | 2:30-4:00 p.m.
Vintage Pour at L’Ecole No 41 | 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Friday, July 14, 2023
Wine Panel Presentation & Tasting at Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center | 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Collaborative Winemaker Dinner Series throughout the Walla Walla Valley | 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 15, 2023
Merlot Grand Tasting* at The Motor Co. | 4:30-6:30 p.m.
*VIP Experience for Super Pass Holders starts at 3:30 p.m.  


Visit WallaWallaWine.com/Celebrate to learn more and purchase tickets.


Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine is presented by:



Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine Scheduled to Return in July 2022Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine 12Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine 13




About Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine

Formed by Walla Walla Valley Wine in 2013, Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine is the region’s signature wine event. The event series is structured to showcase a different wine varietal each year, historically focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot. Over the course of three days, the events demonstrate how wines can vary among the world’s leading regions resulting from different growing conditions, winemaking styles, and vineyards through special tastings of rare vintage wines, educational seminars, and one-of-a-kind winemaker dinners.


About Walla Walla Valley Wine

Walla Walla Valley Wine is a nonprofit wine industry membership organization whose primary mission is to build an internationally acclaimed Walla Walla Valley wine brand among consumers, media, and trade by providing marketing programs on behalf of member wineries, vineyards, and partners.  Walla Walla Valley Wine functions as the leading informational resource for consumers, media and trade interested in learning more about the Valley’s wine industry.


Media Contacts:


Shelby Gillin
Communications & Marketing Manager, Walla Walla Valley Wine
[email protected] | (509) 526-3117 office


High Resolution Images Available Upon Request

Interested in attending the event as a member of the press? Learn more HERE.

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