Domestic Wine Retailers Stop in Richland on WA Wine Tour - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Domestic Wine Retailers Stop in Richland on WA Wine Tour

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RICHLAND, Wash.-- Wine retailers from all over the country are touring Washington wineries to learn more about our wines.  The wine retailers and restaurateurs on the tour have a buying power of $400-million a year.

They're from all over the United States, and many are buyers work at elite restaurants or for liquor control boards of entire states.   The Washington Wine Commission is hosting this tour and their staff says the main goal is to inform the buyers about Washington wines so they can better recommend it to customers.

Today at Bookwalter Winery in Richland they went all the way from ground to glass.  Senior Communications Director Ryan Pennington says, "They've gotten their hands dirty in the vineyard and the cellar.   They're learning a lot about Washington wine." 

Chris Murray, Sommelier at 11 Madison Park, an upscale restaurant in New York, says, "My favorite things have been anytime I could get my hands dirty.  I'm definitely a city gal and it's great to get up on the sorting table.  It's great to stick my hand in dirt and compost and see what that's all about.  Murray also says there is an increasing demand for Washington wines the restaurant where she works.

This is the first year the Washington Wine Commission has done a state-wide tour for domestic buyers.