WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Tickets go on sale Saturday, Feb. 1, for the second annual Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine, which this summer will spotlight Syrah.
More than 60 Walla Walla Valley winemakers, three winemakers from beyond the Pacific Northwest and several critics will headline Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine – The World of Syrah — on June 19-21.
This year, Rajat Parr, wine director of Michael Mina restaurant group, will moderate a panel made up of acclaimed winemakers from the Walla Walla Valley, Paso Robles and Sonoma and Australia’s Yarra Valley.
Participants will have the opportunity to compare and contrast the growing conditions and wine styles from each region and taste Syrah from all six producers: Anna Schafer, àMaurice Cellars, Walla Walla Valley; Greg Harrington, Gramercy Cellars, Walla Walla Valley; Matt Reynvaan, Reynvaan Family Vineyards, Walla Walla Valley; Gary Mills, Jamsheed Wines, Yarra Valley, Australia; Kevin Sass, Halter Ranch Vineyard, Paso Robles, and Pax Mahle, Wind Gap Wines, Sonoma.
“Each year, we showcase a different wine varietal during Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine,” Duane Wollmuth executive director of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, said in a news release. “Last year we held a fantastic panel featuring Cabernet Sauvignon from Walla Walla Valley and Napa. This year, the panel is shaping up to be an incredible opportunity to learn about the unique Syrah grape from prominent winemakers. It’s not to be missed.”
Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine starts Thursday, June 19, with Vintage Pour — a two-hour library tasting featuring several Walla Walla Valley wines from the 2007 vintage or earlier. The event begins at 4:30 p.m.
That World of Syrah kickoff is 8:30 a.m. Friday, June 20, at the Power House Theater. Patrick Comiskey, Wine & Spirits critic, will give an overview of Syrah and how the Walla Walla Valley wine region’s growing conditions, winemaking styles, and vineyards compare to Paso Robles, Sonoma, and the Yarra Valley. Kevin Pogue, geologist and terroir expert, will talk about the growing conditions and terroir of each region.
In the afternoon, Parr’s two-hour session with the winemaker panel and tasting of Syrah will be at the Marcus Whitman Hotel.
Friday evening at Whitman College’s Reid Center is a tasting of Syrah from more than 60 Walla Walla wineries during a dinner featuring an all-star lineup of Walla Walla Valley chefs Andrae Bopp of Andrae’s Kitchen, Antonio Campolio of The Marc Restaurant and Jim Cooley of Bon Appetit.
The organized events will conclude Saturday, June 21, with a series of winemaker dinners around the Walla Walla Valley.
The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance is a nonprofit wine industry membership organization whose primary mission is the marketing of the Walla Walla Valley’s American Viticultural Area (AVA). The alliance functions as the leading informational resource for consumers, media and trade interested in learning more about the valley’s wine industry.