How's tricks? Numerous, at least for Spring Release


A pig roast, a magician and a group of burlesque dancers are coming to Walla Walla this weekend.

No, it's not the setup for a one-liner. It's part of the lineup for Spring Release, the annual event where Walla Walla Valley wineries open their doors to consumers for a chance to taste new blends and pick up special orders.

A crush of visitors will descend on the community to partake in the wines, as well as music and other special events planned throughout the Valley. Listed below are just a few events going on:

The Roast at Revelry Vintners: The winery at 720 C St. at the Walla Walla Regional Airport will celebrate Spring Release with one of its twice-yearly pig roasts Saturday. The event runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. According to an announcement, a whole hog preparation will be featured with pairing stations that will showcase smaller bites to pair with each wine. Recipes will also be included, focusing on pork belly, bacon and shoulder. The celebration takes place in a climate-controlled tent at the winery, which will also feature its official release of its reserve blend and a limited production ros©. For more details, visit

Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman: Downtown's wine retailer at 19 N. Second Ave. will welcome back Ginevra Casa Smith for a special tasting of her Secco Brut and Ros© Italian bubbles. The complimentary tasting runs noon-4 p.m. Saturday. Free massage will also be offered to help guests relax. Dakota Shannon Smith McKeown from 2 UnWind Massage Therapy will offer her services.

Plumb Cellars and Mansion Creek: The two wineries that share one tasting room at 9 S. First Ave. will host local artist Lore Fauver-Rude through the weekend. Fauver-Rude's photomontage paintings will be available for viewing Friday and Saturday, and will continue to hang throughout the month of May.

Atomic Bombshells: Seattle's professional burlesque troupe will celebrate the feminine form with humor and a classic style during a Saturday night performance at Charles Smith Wines, 35 S. Spokane St. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., and the show starts at 9. According to a post on the winery's website, the $15 tickets have already sold out.

Trio Vintners Grand Reveal: The downtown Walla Walla winery at 102 S. Second Ave. had already removed the paper from the windows -- a temporary addition to the tasting room after an ownership change earlier this year. But now the space is ready for this weekend's event with new owner Karen LaBont© at the helm of the remodeled space. The tasting room will operate 11 a.m.-5 p.m. today through Sunday. Tasting fee is $5. For more details, call 529-8746 or visit .

Grantwood Winery: A relatively new boutique winery, Grantwood celebrates its first anniversary this weekend. Owners Joe Grant and Doris Wood invite guests to try the complex wines they say are sold for a limited time at about half the price of many other local wines. The winery will be open Friday and Saturday noon-4:30 p.m. For more information call 301-9546 or 529-5872.

Professor Phelyx: The world-famous mentalist and sleight of hand magician will be -- where else? -- at Sleight of Hand Cellars as the winery debuts its new tasting room at 1959 JB George Road to the masses. Guests throughout the weekend will be entertained as they sip on the 2008 Archimage, 2008 Illusionist and 2010 Magician, as well as a few smaller production wines.

Long Shadows Vintners: As part of the Spring Release festivities, one of the numerous internationally acclaimed winemakers that produces wine as an owner/partner at the Walla Walla winery will be on hand Friday to meet visitors. Philippe Melka, the winemaker behind Pirouette, will be at Long Shadows, 1604 Frenchtown Road, from noon to 3 p.m. to answer questions and sign bottles.

Live music: Music will be a popular accompaniment to much of the wine this weekend. A couple of places where live music will be performed: Sapolil Cellars. The Walla Walla winery at 15 E. Main St. will host The B Side starting at 8 p.m. Friday. The performance by Phil Lynch and Kate Morrison -- a soulful mix of music from blues to jazz -- includes a $3 cover charge, or two-for-$5. That will be followed Saturday at 8 p.m. wit a blues performance by the Randy Oxford Band, a group named one of the top four bands in the world at the 2011 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Tickets for that show are $15. For more information call 520-1273.

Singer/TV newscaster/radio DJ Faith Martin and world beat guitarist Tony Woods will perform on the Dayton Wine Works patio starting at 7 p.m. Saturday. The performance at 507 E. Main St. is free and features a combination of contemporary and classic vocals with new original material. For more details call 509-328-1200.

For a more complete rundown of events taking place during Spring Release, check out

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at or 526-8321.


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