Renton Downtown Partnership organizes inaugural Wine Walk

The event, scheduled for June 9, will highlight 11 regional wines and wineries.

Renton Downtown Partnership is organizing a new event they hope will attract eyes to the city’s downtown.

Wine Walk, scheduled for June 9, is an event that highlights local wines and vineyards and introduces local residents to new wine experiences.

“The goal of the wine walk is to introduce people to the businesses that maybe they haven’t been into before, maybe they didn’t realize existed before or maybe they were just nervous to approaching,” said Jessie Kotarski, RDP board member. “This gives them an excuse to experience something new that maybe they’ll return to later.”

The event will feature 11 regional wineries, including Renton’s own Cedar River Cellars. Attendees will start at the Renton Chamber of Commerce where they will get 10 one-ounce drink tokens, an engraved wine glass, a wrist band and a map of all the businesses that are hosting the various wineries.

The selected wineries will set up “mini tasting rooms” at various downtown businesses, including Urban Sprouts, 5 Sisters Holistic Remedies, Second and Main, Sweet P Beauty. Kotarski described it “like attending 11 mini parties.”

According to Kotarski, the aim of the Wine Walk is to create a festival feel while maintaining a cohesive community.

“With wine, it’s your opportunity to meet that person, to meet the craft,” she said. “Bringing it to Renton, we’re bridging that gap between the wines, the sellers, the vineyards and the places that are selling it, distributing and supporting it.”

Kotarski said the partnership agreed upon creating an event around wine since it is “a great equalizer.”

“(Wine) attracts a different kind of crowd,” she said. “It attracts those who are looking for something more classy, something they can share and discuss with their friends. It’s something intended to be savored and enjoyed. It gives you an opportunity to enjoy whatever’s in your glass, the people around you, the setting you’re in. Wine is more of an experience than other beverages or food. It’s about the setting, the process, the people who make it and the farms they’re grown. It’s the whole piece. That’s why we selected wine — it’s place-based.”

RDP was created in 2014 when local business owners, property owners, residents, nonprofit organizations, Chamber of Commerce representatives and city representatives came together “to focus on revitalizing Renton’s downtown core,” according to their site. The group joined forces with Piazza Renton to help promote the area.

Over the last year, RDP has organized various events to revitalize the historic area as well as attract more eyes and business to the area, including Pop-Up Downtown and Small Business Saturday. Each month, RDP volunteers conduct street clean-ups to “make Renton safe, clean, attractive and fun place to hang out,” said Kotarski.

Tickets for the Wine Walk are $25 if purchased ahead of time and $30 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/renton-wine-walk-june-9-2017-tickets-33068617124. Attendees must be 21 or older to purchase tickets.

Attendees must check in at the Renton Chamber of Commerce, 625 S Fourth St. Check in starts at 4:30 p.m. on June 9. Wine pouring starts at 5 p.m. Wine bottles will be available for purchase at the chamber.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/rentondowntownpartnership/ or email rentonwinewalk@gmail.com.

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