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2019 Marks Walla Walla’s Third Finalist Designation Since 2012

(WALLA WALLA, Wash.)—For the third time since 2012, the Walla Walla Valley has been named one of five global finalists for Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine. The prestigious nomination is part of the publication’s 20th annual Wine Star Awards, with other finalists in the category including Mosel, Germany, Sicily, Italy, Sonoma County, Calif., and Stellenbosch, South Africa.

“This nomination is as much a testament to the quality of wine being produced in the Walla Walla Valley, as it is to the people who are producing it, the community that embraces it, and the visitor experience that has been carefully built around it,” said Ron Williams, CEO of Visit Walla Walla. “They say the third time’s a charm, and after coming up just shy in 2012 and 2015 we are confident that Walla Walla can compete and prevail on the global stage against the world’s elite wine regions.”

In describing the qualifying attributes of the Walla Walla Valley, Wine Enthusiast editors noted, “The tree-lined farm and college community of Walla Walla may look quiet, but it’s the center of winemaking and wine tourism in Southeastern Washington. The Walla Walla appellation boasts more than 100 wineries.

“There’s also dozens of well-respected vineyards,” Wine Enthusiast editors added. “The AVA spills over into Oregon, where the new Rocks District AVA is a hotbed of grape growing. The town of Walla Walla is packed with walkable tasting rooms and restaurants. It boasts one of the oldest symphony orchestras in the West, along with frequent blues and jazz concerts, and numerous art galleries.”

The Walla Walla Valley has continued to establish itself among the world’s elite wine regions, most recently having been named Best Wine Town for 2018 by Sunset Magazine, and featured in the February 2019 issue of Travel + Leisure which implored its readers that “Every Wine Lover Should Plan A Trip To Walla Walla.”

“Washington has steadily evolved into the country’s second leading producer of wine, and the Walla Walla Valley AVA has emerged as a clear leader not just within the state, but among the world’s top wine regions,” said Robert Hansen, executive director of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance. “On behalf of our members and the more than 120 wineries who are producing wine in the valley, we are honored to be recognized alongside such a respected group of finalists from Germany, Italy, California, and South Africa.”

The Wine Star Award winners will be recognized in Wine Enthusiast’s “Best of the Year” issue in December and at a black tie gala in late January at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. The event includes awards in 16 categories, highlighting pioneers and innovators that continue to elevate the wine industry from small boutiques and individuals, to large scale companies and regions.

For more information on the Wine Enthusiast Magazine Wine Star Awards including a list of all finalists, please visit the Wine Star Awards site. For more information on the Walla Walla Valley and the region’s wine, head to www.wallawalla.org or www.wallawallawine.com.

About Walla Walla

As the unofficial capital of Washington wine country, Walla Walla is home to more than 120 wineries, a nationally recognized culinary scene, access to an abundance of outdoor recreation, and an arts & entertainment scene that rivals cities many times its size. This community of just over 30,000 residents is known for many things, including its friendliness and hospitality, the quality of its wine, and of course the famous Walla Walla Sweet Onion. An easy and scenic four-hour drive from Seattle, Portland, or Boise, Walla Walla can also be accessed via Alaska Airlines daily nonstop flights from Seattle. For more information and to begin planning a trip to Walla Walla, visit www.visitwallawalla.com.

About the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance

The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance is a non-profit wine industry membership organization whose primary mission is the marketing of the Walla Walla Valley’s American Viticultural Area (AVA). The Wine Alliance functions as the leading informational resource for consumers, media and trade interested in learning more about the Valley’s wine industry. More information about the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and its mission can be found at www.wallawallawine.com.

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