SEATTLE — The Washington wine event formerly known as 20something The New Vintage has been slightly rebranded, slimmed down considerably, hooked up with a new date and moved downtown.
It’s now simply called The New Vintage and packaged as a Taste Washington event scheduled for Friday, March 27, at the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle.
In the past, the Washington State Wine Commission and Visit Seattle marketed it specifically to recruit young wine consumers, going so far as to stage it at the urban and hip Fremont Studio. Next month’s The New Vintage target audience is not quite as obvious.
“Taste Washington is a destination event with unique Washington wine experiences, and The New Vintage (formally 20something – The New Vintage) fits perfectly into Taste Washington events,” Kauilani Robinson, Visit Seattle public relations manager, told Great Northwest Wine via email.
“In addition, the New Vintage adds a new and unique way to explore Washington wine during Washington Wine Month. Now that the event is held downtown, the New Vintage ticket holders have the option of completing their evening by booking a Taste Washington hotel package.”
And then, it is hoped, attendees will get up Saturday morning, head to Sodo and attend the opening day of Taste Washington’s grand tasting weekend at the CenturyLink Events Center.
Wine commission created 20something in 2007
20something The New Vintage began in spring 2007 as a Washington State Wine Commission event near Taste Washington and geared toward consumers from ages 21 to 35.
By 2012, it had been moved to the fall, and the commission licensed it to Visit Seattle — then known as the Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau. 20something grew to more than 75 wineries and 15 regional restaurants with live DJ adding some thump. Attendance climbed to 1,000, and the event spanned four hours. At least officially.
“By the end of the night, it turns into more of a party,” Will Camarda of Andrew Will Winery, told Great Northwest Wine in 2013. “People get pretty dressed up like they are going to out to a bar, so it’s definitely that kind of an occasion. We want people to be interested in wine and show them that it’s not stuffy or pretentious. You can enjoy wine and learn something at the same time.”
Organizers said ticket sales for next month’s New Vintage will be capped at 500, but the number of participating wineries is slowing starting to ramp up. When the site for the new event was first published, there were only a dozen wineries listed — including Guardian Cellars and Woodward Canyon. By Valentine’s Day, they were joined by more than 30 signups.
It will be an especially long weekend for Guardian and Woodward Canyon. On Thursday night, both wineries will be pouring at the kickoff event for Taste Washington — the second annual Red & White Party at AQUA by El Gaucho. Last year, that event debuted at Chihuly Garden and Glass below the Space Needle.
The New Vintage continues to be promoted as an event for “the next generation of wine lovers,” and the evening will include celebrity chef stations, live music and other adult beverages. Organizers have yet to finalize the chefs.
Cost to attend is $75, and the event is scheduled for 7-10 p.m.