Valentine's weekend crucial for Valley wineries - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Valentine's weekend crucial for Valley wineries

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ZILLAH--We're six weeks into 2010, but for Yakima Valley wineries, this is the first weekend of the year.

Valentine's weekend is always crucial at Claar Cellars and other Yakima Valley wineries.

Even with a pretty warm winter, business has been slow since the holidays.  But, they expect a big crowd through the three-day weekend.

If not, they might be in trouble.

"If you have a bad weekend and not a lot of people it's kind of a foreshadowing of a shorter year," John Whitelatch, Claar Cellars manager, said.  "It's a lot of fun and it helps us to break out of the winter rut."

Whitelatch said ticket sales for multiple-winery tours are down slightly from 2009, but individual sales are about the same as last year.