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Walla Walla wine businesses offer support for Australia

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WIRES Wildlife Rescue - Australia

Walla Walla wine businesses are giving their support to Australian brushfire relief.

This week, The Thief Fine Wine & Beer, 102 Main St., hosts a special tasting of Australian wines with a portion of every tasting benefiting WIRES Wildlife Rescue.

The Sip-to-Support event runs Thursday, 5-8:30 p.m.

The 21-and-older tasting offers pours of five wines for $20.

A portion of every tasting will support the largest wildlife rescue organization in Australia, where brush fires have caused the deaths of as many as 1 billion animals and the burning of 25 million acres.

The Walla Walla tasting room of Browne Family Vineyards is also helping through sales of products connected to Australia.

The fundraiser was announced Tuesday by Browne Family Vineyards Principal Andrew Browne.

Wines include those in the Davey & Browne brand launched just last year as a partnership between Browne and Australian wine luminary Kym Davey, lifelong friends and contemporaries.

The estate wines come from the McLaren Vale wine region in South Australia. Wildfires in Australia reached nearby Adelaide Hills, which prompted the fundraising action, according to the announcement.

Davey Estate Vineyard is safe, though Davey has said peak wildfires are anticipated for February.

The fundraiser will come from a portion of funds from direct-to-consumer sales of select wines and olive oil. A 5% donation from gross sales will be matched from Browne Family Vineyards for a total of 10% to organizations helping to fight fires and heal wounded people and animals.

The products are:

Browne Family Cold-Pressed Ultra-Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 500mL, $28: The olive oil is produced from select batches of olives from the very first harvest of the season from the Adelaide Hills. Intense freshly mown grass aroma, but with spicy rocket leaf and minty characteristics. Lighter and sweeter avocado-like flavors on the palate.

Browne Family Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1L, $22: Made from riper olives picked mid-way through season in the Adelaide Hills, the olives produce a sweeter oil which tends to have a milder fruit flavor. This olive oil is ideal for cooking and will not overpower the flavor of food.

Davey & Browne 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale, 750ml, $42: Abundant aromas of cedar, hazelnut and fig lead to flavors of black cherry and strawberry jam with a hint of black pepper.

Davey & Browne 2016 Vortex Red Blend, McLaren Vale, 750ml, $22: This full-figured cabernet sauvignon-dominant wine, blended with tempranillo and grenache, shows plush red currant and black cherry marry on the nose, joined by dried tobacco leaf, black olive and smoke.

The products are available online at BrowneFamilyVineyards.com or at 31 E. Main St.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 509-526-8321.

Vicki covers business and economic development, including tourism, the Port of Walla Walla and the Strictly Business column, as well as features. She has been reporting for the Union-Bulletin since late 2001.