Spring Barrel Tasting gets underway this weekend - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Spring Barrel Tasting gets underway this weekend

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WAPATO, WA - One of our region's biggest wine events is finally here: Spring Barrel Tasting. And the weather has certainly cooperated.

Reporter Gilbert Magallon visited Owen Roe, one of the wineries participating.

"It gives guests an opportunity to taste the wine before it goes into the bottle," said Barbara Glover, Executive Director of Wine Yakima Valley. "So it is a sneak peek really of the upcoming vintage."

People who purchase a pass can visit over 40 wineries in our region and taste new wines straight out of the barrel.

"Let's bring people in and make it interactive," said David O'Reilly, Owner of Owen Roe. "And then they get to taste wine right out of one of these French oak barrels."

One of the wineries people can visit is Owen Roe.

"It is a great time if you are new to wines," O'Reilly said. "You can get to taste a variety of different styles and flavors and different types of wine, and then you can decide what kind you like."

O'Reilly says the event provides more than just a wine tasting.

"You can come out to a vineyard and see the grapes actually being grown, you can see workers," he explained. "This is a perfect example of a functioning winery: we make wine here, you can come in and kick the barrels."

It also brings in revenue.

"It depends on the year, anywhere from 75-thousand to 85-thousand dollars."

And new clients.

"Even if you are local here, there is always new discoveries and new small wineries," said O'Reilly. "I think what makes this unique over any other event, you get to meet the people who are involved in it."

Passes are still for sale at Stems in downtown Yakima and participating wineries, and they're $35. The event will be going on until Sunday, and most wineries will be open between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

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YAKIMA VALLEY AND COLUMBIA BASIN, WA- Wine lovers are coming together the last weekend in April to enjoy tastings from spring barrels around our area.

For a full list of participating wineries and event information, click here.

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