Washington Wine Country announces partnership - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington Wine Country announces partnership

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Yakima, WASH.--Tourism organizations in Central Washington announced a new partnership Friday.

The Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau, Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau, Tourism Walla Walla and Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance are all collaborating to launch a program called "Taste and Tote." In cooperation with Alaska Airlines and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the program will allow returning passengers to check their first case of wine for free.

Representatives from local wine industries support the program.

Executive director for the Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail, Shannon Hitchcock, said at least half of winery customers are from out of state. She said one of the overall goals is to increase tasting room sales.

"It has been in the past a little bit of a concern and an obstacle to be able to purchase wine and take it home and share," said Hitchcock. "And that's really what we're all about, is being able to take the experience home with you, tell your friends about it."

The Director of the Yakima Valley Visitors Bureau said this program will also encourage more in-state traffic as well.