Wine-tasting tour hopes to lure high-end buyers

pouring wine

WALLA WALLA, Wash. - Wineries in Washington state are getting some high profile visits this week. Forty wine buyers from across the U.S. are sampling wine on their way through the state. These buyers represent $400 million in purchasing power, stocking wine for such places as restaurants and hotels.

In Walla Walla, the tour takes an even more personal touch: buyers are picking grapes, sampling soil and getting to know the region's wine makers in person.

Washington's wine industry, which continues to grow despite the economic downturn, is making the move to hopefully expand its reach to high-end venues. It's a move that's help boost revenue for wine makers participating in a previous tour.

Sixty-five state wineries are participating in this Washington road trip. In the last tour, which happened in May, a mere dozen or so wineries were on the list.