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Taste Washington sets record for attendance
SEATTLE — Taste Washington attracted 4,991 wine lovers last month to its weekend of grand tasting in Seattle, as officials reported record attendance for 18-year-old event.
There were 234 wineries represented March 28-29 at the CenturyLink Field Event Center. Those vintners brought 800 wines, and they dispensed 200,000 pours for patrons, who were surrounded by 70 restaurants and 60 culinary exhibitors.
Visit Seattle, which produces the festival for the Washington State Wine Commission, made several changes this year to Taste Washington, which closed out Washington Wine Month. All events combined, Taste Washington reported a total attendance of 6,307 as organizers continue to bill it as the country’s largest single-region wine and food event.
Taste Washington on the Farm was a new series that took wine consumers on culinary tours to meet with chefs, farmers and winemakers at locations such as Samish Bay, the Snohomish Valley and Vashon Island. The island outing at Kurtwood Farms featuring Andrew Will Winery was a sellout.
That evening, the millennial-themed event called The New Vintage was held downtown at the Four Seasons Hotel. It featured some of the city’s top chefs, many of the state’s top wines and the beats of acclaimed DJ Tina T. Last year, as in previous years, The New Vintage — founded by the wine commission in 2007 as 20something The New Vintage — was staged during November at Fremont Studio.
On Saturday and Sunday of Taste Washington weekend, the Four Seasons also played host to a trio of morning wine education seminars. All three of the Sunday seminars were sold out. Previously, these seminars were staged on weekend mornings along the second floor of CenturyLink Field Event Center.
This year’s festival began Thursday, March 26, with the second annual Red and White Party, an evening event that was moved to AQUA by El Gaucho Seattle after its 2014 debut at Chihuly Garden and Glass. The semi-formal event which encourages attendees to be dressed in red and/or white, features high-end, collectible wines.
Dates for Taste Washington 2016 will be announced this fall.
The wine commission launched Taste Washington in 1998, which was 11 years after the state Legislature created the commission as a government agency. The commission, led by Steve Warner, is nearly entirely self-funded via assessments on grape and wine sales.
Visit Seattle, a private, nonprofit marketing organization, has served as the city’s and King County’s official destination marketing organization for more than 50 years.