Friday, May 10, 2013
The reviews on last weekend’s Spring Release are in, and wineries are reportedly calling the event a success.
According to an announcement from the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, more than 55 percent of the organization’s winery members said through a survey the first major wine weekend of the season was either “slightly better” or “far better” than Spring Release in 2012.
Sales were up 10 percent or more at this year’s event for nearly one-third of the wineries. Nearly 45 percent of the wineries reported their visitor counts were up. General economic conditions, weather and favorable critic ratings were credited for the positive results.
“These results show the continued strength of the Walla Walla Valley’s wine tourism industry,” said Duane Wollmuth, executive director of the wine alliance, in a prepared statement. “We had large numbers of visitors throughout the weekend, and many wineries stated that their visitors started their Spring Release weekend on Thursday, or even Wednesday, and extended their stays through Sunday. The word has gotten out that Walla Walla is the place to go for wine, food, entertainment and an escape from the ordinary.”