Later this month, the Washington State Wine Commission will welcome some of the country’s most influential wine buyers to Washington State, as part of its third annual Road Trip Washington Wine.
From Sunday, September 26, to Thursday, September 30, the group will travel across the state to meet with grape growers and winemakers. Along the way, they will experience the height of harvest first hand, working alongside members of the industry in the state’s renowned vineyards and wineries.
Guests will include the worldwide wine buyer for Costco; four prestigious Master Sommeliers – there are just 105 Master Sommeliers in North America; the nationwide buyer for Vino Volo, a popular chain of wine bars with locations in airports across the country; the Southwest regional wine buyer forWhole Foods; the sommelier for Tampa’s famed Bern’s Steak House, which boasts the world’s largest restaurant wine list; and two sommeliers for acclaimed restaurateur Michael Mina, who is preparing to open a restaurant in Seattle next year.
Collectively, the group represents more than $750 million in annual purchasing power, making it the most influential group in the program’s three-year history. Attendees will pay for their own travel to Washington State, and the Washington State Wine Commission will organize the remainder of the four-day trip.
Two guests – Dan Pilkey, Wine Director for the Elysian Hotel in Chicago, and Dustin Wilson, Sommelier for The Little Nell Hotel in Aspen – were awarded Education Foundation Scholarships to attend Road Trip Washington Wine through the Guild of Sommeliers, a non-profit membership organization of wine service professionals. The two beat out more than 200 sommeliers vying for a spot on Road Trip Washington Wine.
For more information on this program, including an outline of the itinerary, complete lists of the attendees and participating vineyards and wineries, and testimonials from previous attendees, please visit www.washingtonwine.org/roadtrip.