Local wineries flooded with tourists for the annual Thanksgiving in Wine Country event - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local wineries flooded with tourists for the annual Thanksgiving in Wine Country event

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- Wineries from Yakima to the Tri-Cities are seeing loads of tourists for the annual event Thanksgiving in Wine Country.

"It kind of just rounds out the Thanksgiving weekend," said Tony Sloan, wine taster.

Sloan has been a Yakima resident for over 40 years and has watched the local wine industry flourish. Thanksgiving in Wine Country is one of the areas largest events, bringing in hundreds of tourists. Around 90% of this weekend's customers will be from out of town.

"And we just can't do enough to promote that, to have people start coming to the Yakima Valley for this," said Sloan.

More than 50 wineries across the valley are participating in this year's event.

"The volume has been very good as far as the sales [they] have been just a little bit down. People are walking out with 2 to 3 bottles instead of 6 to 12 bottles," said Palmer Wright, owner, Kana Winery.

Wright said between 250 to 300 people tasted at Kana on Friday, usually Saturday numbers are double.

Just as mother nature has an influence on the grapes used to make wine, she also has a hand on how many people can make it to the Yakima Valley.

"Actually this weekend is probably the first I remember in the last 5 to 6 years we've actually had perfect weather here, Seattle and the pass, so that's great," said Wright.

As a part of Thanksgiving in Wine Country tasters can buy a pass for $30 online or $35 at the door, some wineries give extra deals to pass holders. The event goes through Sunday.

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