coming up – one wine weekend

Friday, May 06, 2011

I don't know too many people who have the time and talent to do a lot of advance planning these days. Want to travel? The internet is loaded with last-minute travel deal websites. Same day half price tickets to entertainment events, and spontaneous "Flash" parties ensure that you won't be left behind simply because you failed to plan ahead.

But here in Walla Walla, planning ahead is essential. From today (the start of Spring Release Weekend) on through October, there isn't a single weekend without major wine and college and rodeo and car show and farmers' market events stacking up. What is in short supply are lodging and dining options. So unless you want to be staying in Pendleton or the Tri-Cities, the advice from here is – plan ahead!

Looking ahead on my own calendar, I'm zeroing in on the weekend of June 16 - 18, which will combine, for the first time, what are arguably the two most impactful wine events of the year – Vintage Walla Walla and the Entwine Grand Auction – into a single "One Wine Weekend" celebration.

Events include winemaker dinners; Vintage Pour, where wineries pull from their libraries and private collections; a welcome barbeque and a Grill-Off where five local winemakers vie for the title of “Master of the Grill”; and the Entwine Grand Auction.

Tickets are available for individual events or for a complete weekend package. They range in price from $100 for an intimate winemaker dinner to $300 for a total weekend package that includes both Vintage Pour events, Vintage BBQ and the Entwine Grand Auction.

On Thursday June 16 a number of winemaker dinners will be held around the valley. Tickets are $100/person and attendance is limited, so these will sell out quickly. For a complete list and ticket purchases, visit One Wine website, or call 509-526-3117. More event information is posted on the Walla Walla Wine Alliance website.

On Friday June 17 I will be playing music (ahead of the outstanding Dusty 45s) at Waters winery, where the Welcome Barbecue will be held. Over 40 winemakers will pour current release wines in the evening air, while several others vie for the title of “Master of the Grill” in the Viking Grill-Off.

Then on Saturday, the Entwine Grand Auction, previously held in October at the Marc, will move to Walla Walla Community College. Again, area winemakers will be pouring their current releases. Guests will munch on small bites and bid on an array of silent auction items, followed by a multi-course dinner featuring ingredients from local growers and producers served under the grand tent. I will be one of the guest announcers. Live music courtesy of the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, followed by a high energy live auction with Auctioneer John Curley.

So... big fun. Book now!


LeftCoastRightBrain said...

Good piece.

I just booked rooms. It was a close call.

Anonymous said...

LOl, ever stayed in Milton-Freewater? P.G, found a nice suprize in the Middle of Vineyards and Wheat fields...Garrison Creek! Merlotman

PaulG said...

Just got the word today - the event has been postponed. Quite honestly, not a good decision in my view. But heads up - it is now scheduled for October. Here is the official notice: "Elements of One Wine Weekend, the event combining Vintage Walla Walla and the Entwine Grand Auction, have been rescheduled for October 15, 2011. With a record number of summer events bringing high visitor traffic to Walla Walla, the overnight hotel needs of event guests has exceeded the weekend lodging capacity currently available in the area, leaving event organizers unable to accommodate the (June 16-18) One Wine Weekend guests."

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