Taste Washington Cancellation

Taste Washington Cancellation

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The coronavirus pandemic has forced wineries across the state to get creative with virtual tastings and selling online, but a big part of Washington Wine’s annual calendar was missing entirely this year.

Taste Washington, the annual March celebration held in Seattle attracts thousands every year, and Washington Wine Commission President Steve Warner says the cancellation was a big hit for the industry …

WARNER … “Well, it’s not only the wine industry, it’s Washington state, the city of Seattle, it’s the nation’s largest single region food and wine event and we have, you know, over 10,000 people who come in over four days of events. So, it was a little bit of a setback.”

But, Warner says everyone did what they could …

WARNER … “We tried to shift as quickly as we could to profiling the wineries with virtual tastings and kind of a virtual Taste Washington format, but it’s never the same as seeing the awe of all those wineries and restaurants working together. So, we did, obviously, take a hit on that.”

Warner says the course adjustment has been drastic …

WARNER … “You mentioned virtual tastings and, you know, we have programming on our #SipGlocal channel where we talk about buddy systems, where we profile wineries that say are helping making masks or hand sanitizer or giving discounts off to healthcare professionals, first responders, front line workers, even wineries giving donations or giving discounts to people who come into their tasting room with a takeout receipt from a local restaurant.”

Warner says overall, he’s pretty proud of the way the wine industry has reacted to this crisis.

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