Visitors Bureau introduces automated wine dispenser in Yakima - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Visitors Bureau introduces automated wine dispenser in Yakima

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YAKIMA, Wash. - Tourists to Washington Wine Country will get a mix of new technology and personal touch at the Visitors Information Center with addition of automated wine dispenser to help sell the region's wineries.

The Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau purchased the machine to create a year-round tasting experience for people who don't have time to visit wineries or are in town when they are closed for the off season.

"We're using it as an opportunity to introduce some of the wines to our visitors as well as all the attractions of the Valley," said John Cooper, CEO of the Convention Bureau.

The dispenser has four wines from two different wineries at any given time, one red and one white from each. The air pressure inside is adjusted to maintain the flavor even though the bottles have been uncorked.

One serving is an ounce and is sold with a tasting glass that can be used to try the other selections available at the center. Staff say it won't replace the experience of wine tasting in wine country but may help to introduce the concept and the flavors of the Yakima Valley to tourists.

"It's kind of like a way to engage and have a conversation with our visitors," said Cooper.