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Auction of Washington Wines Introduces Virtual Tasting Series with Karen MacNeil Presented by Wells Fargo


Series of seven virtual taste-along events held June 18-August 20 feature 21 prominent vintners and explore topics such as women in Washington wine, next generation wineries, and AVA’s and top varietals 

SEATTLE — June 11, 2020 — Auction of Washington Wines (AWW), a nonprofit elevating awareness of Washington state wines, announced a brand-new Virtual Tasting Series featuring its 2020-21 Honorary Chair, Karen MacNeil  and presented by Wells Fargo. Washington winemakers will explore the world of their wines through virtual tastings held between June 18 and August 20 with subjects ranging from “Red Mountain and Bordeaux” to “Is Cab King in Washington?” The series will be offered at no cost and will be hosted by MacNeil on the Zoom platform. During each session, MacNeil will taste through a stellar selection of wines while talking with industry greats such as Col Solare’s Darel Allwine, Bookwalter Winery’s John Bookwalter, DeLille Cellars’ Jason Gorski and Honorary Grower Rob Mercer of Mercer Family Estates.

Participants will be able to pre-purchase wines for each tasting at retailer partner Esquin Wine & Spirits located at 2700 4th Ave South, Seattle. Wines will be available for curbside pickup or can be shipped to the home.

MacNeil is author of award-winning book, “The Wine Bible,” and the winner of several industry awards, including the Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year (James Beard Foundation). She created WineSpeed, the leading digital e-letter for fast, authoritative information about wine. Her articles on wine and food have been published in more than 50 newspapers and magazines worldwide.

 “The current stay-at-home world has provided a unique and exciting window of opportunity for this series to come to fruition,” said Executive Director Jamie Peha. “Karen MacNeil is an incredible host—and this series will introduce and connect wine lovers to the state’s industry.” 

“There are so many stories surrounding the Washington wine world,” said MacNeil. “I am very much looking forward to talking with the state’s prominent winemakers, all while tasting some of the finest wines Washington state has to offer.”

Interested participants can register online. A schedule for the series including guests for each can be found below (all times in PT): 

  • Washington Wine Trailblazers – Thursday, June 18 at 5:30 p.m. – This kick-off session features L’Ecole No 41’s Marty Clubb, Long Shadows Vintners’ Allen Shoup and Woodward Canyon Winery’s Rick Small; all who have been instrumental since the early days of the Washington wine industry boom and have impacted its foray onto the national and international scene.
  • From Generation to Generation – Thursday, July 2 at 4:00 p.m. – Featuring Bookwalter Wines’ John Bookwalter and Caleb Foster, Mercer Family Estates’ Rob Mercer and Januik Winery’s Andrew Januik, this discussion will revolve around family winemaking and how these extraordinary individuals have elevated the wineries they inherited to the next level.
  • Washington Women in Wine – Thursday, July 16 at 4:00 p.m. – Warr-King Wines’ Lisa Packer, Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Leah Adint and Wautoma Spring’s Jessica Munnell will join in conversation about how they’ve created their own “seats at the table” in the still male-dominated wine industry.
  • Red Mountain and Bordeaux Style Wine – Thursday, July 30 at 4:00 p.m. – Featuring Fidélitas Wine’s Charlie Hoppes, Sparkman Cellars’ Chris Sparkman and Col Solare’s Darel Allwine, this virtual tasting will explore Washington’s smallest and most coveted AVA – Red Mountain.
  • World-Class Washington State Merlot – Thursday, August 6 at 4:00 p.m. – A conversation with North Star Winery’s David Merfeld, Pepper Bridge Winery’s Jean-François Pellet and Hightower Cellars’ Kelly Hightower, this installment will dive into the high-quality, award-winning Merlot produced in Washington.
  • Is Cab King in Washington? – Thursday, August 13 at 4:00 p.m. – Featuring Betz Family Winery’s Steve Griessel and Louis Skinner, Canvasback’s Brian Rudin and DeLille Cellars’ Jason Gorski, the discussion will center on Cabernet’s iconic role in the Washington wine landscape.
  • One-of-a-Kind Approaches to Washington Wine – Thursday, August 20 at 4:00 p.m. – This conversation with Sean Hails of Columbia Winery, Kevin Correll of Barrage Cellars and Shane Collins of Rocky Pond Estate Winery will highlight some of Washington’s most diverse and innovative wineries.

This year’s Auction of Washington Wines’ weekend of events will take place entirely online in a virtual environment, with this new series as just one component of what’s to come. For more information about AWW and the August events, please visit https://auctionofwawines.org/

About the Auction of Washington Wines (AWW)

Since its inception in 1988, AWW has raised more than $50 million, benefiting Seattle Children’s Hospital and Washington State University Wine Science Center. AWW was listed in the top five U.S. Charity Auctions in the nation by Wine Spectator. Events hosted by AWW give wine lovers the chance to support Washington state’s wine industry and families and communities across the state. Presented by Seattle Bank, all of the organization’s events are virtual for 2020. For more information, visit www.AuctionofWaWines.org

About Wells Fargo & Company 

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.98 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,400 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 31 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 263,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States.

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