Arts & Entertainment

Seminars, 400 wines in one place at Tri-Cities Wine Festival

The Tri-Cities Wine Festival on Nov. 5-6 offers a chance to attend educational seminars, enjoy a gourmet dinner and sample fine vintages gathered from throughout the Northwest.

All festival events are held at the Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick.

The event, Washington's longest-running judged wine festival, is the Tri-Cities Wine Society's annual public event and major fundraiser for its educational fund.

"The festival supports the Wine Society's mission to educate its members and the public about wine and the wine industry," said Wine Society President Ted Davis. "Again this year we're planning to donate funds generated by events, including the festival, to the Washington Wine Industry Foundation to provide scholarships for area students in the fields of viticulture and enology."

Tickets for all festival events are sold through, Ticketmaster outlets and at the Toyota Center, 6016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. Tickets for the dinner and seminars must be purchased in advance. A limited number of tickets for the Saturday evening wine tasting will be sold at the door.

The festival begins Nov. 5 with a gourmet dinner and seminar on wine and food pairing. The dinner runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Before sitting down to dinner you'll be able to sample some of the award-winning wines entered in the judging for this year's festival.

The full menu can be seen at Tickets are $85.

On Nov. 6, a full day of educational seminars will be followed by a public tasting of all the judged wines. Tickets for each seminar are $35. The seminars are:

-- Developments in the Washington Wine Industry, 9:30-11 a.m. Thomas Henick-Kling, director of the Viticulture and Enology program at Washington State University, will discuss the new wine-growing regions, new grape cultivars and innovations in vineyard management and wine production. Wine made from several of the state's newer varieties will be poured.

-- Red Mountain, from the Beginning, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., features a panel of Red Mountain's grape growers and winemakers. They'll discuss the early years of grape growing and production, the area's designation as the state's smallest American Viticultural Area and what's ahead. Samples of Red Mountain wines will be poured.

-- Around the World with Sparkling Wines and Champagne, 1:30-3 p.m. Eric Manz, winemaker at Mountain Dome Winery in Spokane, and Chad Diltz, winemaker at Tru Cellars in Walla Walla, will discuss the history of sparkling wines. A variety of wines from Europe and Washington will be poured.

-- Gala Public Tasting and Silent Auction, 7-10 p.m. The public tasting offers a chance to sip, sample and enjoy all the judged wines. There will be complimentary breads, fruits and cheeses, plus appetizers from Mid-Columbia restaurants and caterers. The ticket price -- $60 in advance, $65 at the door -- includes all food and wine.

"As the Northwest wineries grow in number, so does the number of wines the public can sample at the festival," said Blaine Hulse, festival co-chairman. "We are expecting more than 400 wines will be judged, and then available for tasting Saturday evening."

For festival updates and more information, go to Or send an e-mail to or call 509-619-1482.

Everyone attending any festival event must be 21 or older and have photo identification.

*Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513;