National wine buyers set to tour Columbia Valley

By Tri-City Herald news servicesSeptember 22, 2011 

SEATTLE -- Next week, the Washington State Wine Commission will bring 42 of the nation's top wine buyers to experience harvest in Washington state first hand.

The wholesalers, retailers, and restaurateurs will spend five days traveling across the state to meet growers and winemakers during the height of the growing season.

The tour begins Sunday in Seattle and visits Walla Walla on Monday, the Tri-Cities on Tuesday and Yakima on Wednesday before concluding Thursday in Woodinville.

The scheduled Walla Walla Valley stops include Abeja, Buty, Dusted Valley Vintners, Gramercy Cellars, K Vintners, L’Ecole, Northstar, Pepper Bridge and Waterbrook.

The scheduled Tri-City area stops include Col Solare, Hedges Family Estate, Hightower Cellars and Terra Blanca Winery.

The Road Trip Washington Wine program, which enters its fourth year, has brought in 177 buyers who represent more than $2 billion in annual purchasing power.

"Road Trip has quickly become one of the premier educational opportunities for the domestic wine trade", Robin Pollard, executive director for the Washington State Wine Commission, said in a news release.

For more information on Road Trip Washington Wine, including the itinerary and list of participating vineyards and wineries, go to

2011 Road Trip Washington Wine guests:

Ryan Allison, Cellar 46 (WA)

David Anderson, France 44 (MN)

Ruth Arista, Arista Wine Cellars (WA)

Craig Brown, Arthur's Wine Shop (NC)

Brahm Callahan, Grill 23 (MA)

Jeremy Campbell, M Bar (OR)

Tony Capra, El Gaucho (WA)

Scott Chilcutt, Fifth Floor (CA)

Danny Cobian, Southern Wine & Spirits

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Jeannie Cox, Tosti's Spirits & Fine Wine (FL)

Sean Cummings, Delmonico's (NY)

TJ Douglas, The Urban Grape (MA)

Timothy Edmunds, CRAVE Restaurants (MN)

Christopher Fronsoe, Portland City Grill (OR)

Flavio Gentile, Printers Row Wine Shop (IL)

Jess Gualano, The Wine Studio of Ashville (NC)

Scott Harney, ENO (IL)

Jal Hastings, Cavallo Point (CA)

Doug Jeffirs, Binny's Beverage Depot (IL)

Denise Jones, Vino 100 (TX)

Brian Kerr, Morton's The Steakhouse (OR)

Robb Kimbles, Total Wine & More (MD)

James Lechner, Bastille Caf & Bar (WA)

Steve Lotharius, North Street Market (VA)

Susan Magen, Vino Volo (WA)

Kyle McRae, Highlander Wine & Spirits (Alberta, Canada)

Leonard Mello, The Cellar Fine Wines & Beers

Beers/146848295380341> (MA)

Kathy Morgan MS, Michel Richard Citronelle (DC)

Michael Ochsner, Plonk Wine Bar (MT)

Joe Phillips MS, Michael Mina Bellagio (NV)

Steve Poe MS, Big Canyon Country Club (CA)

John Ragan, Union Square Hospitality Group (NY)

Greg Rivera, The Breakers Palm Beach (FL)

Cecile Roesch-Giannangeli, (MD)

Stephanie Schrankel, Vino Volo (CA)

Natalie Tapken, Green Apple Group (NY)

Michael Thackerson, The Fort Worth Club (TX)

James Tidwell MS, Four Seasons at Las Colinas (TX)

Joseph Via, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PA)

Kate Webber, Webber Restaurant Group (MA)

Paul Wentzel, The Wine Thief (MN)

Brett Zimmerman MS, Boulder Wine Merchant (CO)

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