Wineries in the valley are toasting a new partnership. Launching in September, "Washington Wine Country Taste and Tote" will make it easier and more affordable to taste and travel the Yakima Valley, Tri-Cities and Walla Walla Valley wine regions.  As part of this new partnership, Alaska Airlines will expand its existing wine check-in program "Taste and Tote" to the Yakima and Pasco/Tri-Cities airports. The program allows outbound passengers to check their first case of wine free on their return flight. In addition, Enterprise Rent-A-Car will waive car drop-off fees for visitors flying on Alaska Airlines into Yakima, Pasco or Walla Walla regional airports who wish to fly out of one of the other two airports.

Other features of the new program will allow travelers to sample wines at participating wineries and pay no tasting fees when they show a current Alaska Airlines boarding pass from one of the three airports.

The majority of visitors to Yakima Valley, Tri-Cities region and Walla Walla Valley wineries come from the Seattle and Portland metropolitan areas. Organizers hope that with these added incentives, visitors from these destinations and others served by Alaska Airlines will utilize air service for their trip to Washington Wine Country.