Downtown tourists

With events like this Sip & Stroll tasting in 2017 canceled at Browne Family Vineyards, the winery is working on other ways to reach consumers.

This story has been modified since its initial publication to reflect a correction.

With visitors unable to come to Walla Walla for Spring Release earlier this month, a cluster of wineries devised a way to go to them.

Six downtown wineries have collaborated by making one case shipment with two wines from each tasting room.

The partnership is a twist on tasting as wineries look for creative ways to reach customers through the pandemic’s travel and operating restrictions.

Shipments are not new in the industry that draws much of its support from the loyal following of wine club members. But this version offers consumers a tasting stroll from a portion of Second Avenue and around the corner up First Avenue and Main Street.

“Since Spring Release was canceled, we wanted to give an opportunity to our guests from out of town and in Walla Walla to still have a taste of Walla Walla, specifically downtown Walla Walla,” said Emily Anderson, general manager of Browne Family Vineyards.

Anderson organized the collaboration that includes Kontos Cellars, SuLei Cellars, Mark Ryan Winery, Otis Kenyon and Plumb Cellars.

The price averages to $25 per bottle of wine and available for order through the individual wineries.

“This is our first time collaborating with other downtown wineries to this level,” Anderson said. The packaging was seamless, she said.

“I hope this is the start of future collaborations with our neighbors from downtown Walla Walla.”

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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.