Duane Wollmuth, executive director of the Walla Walla Wine Alliance, passed away unexpectedly on July 11. He was 60 years old.
“This is a tremendous loss to the entire Walla Walla Valley community,” said Corey Braunel, president of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance Board of Directors. “Duane was an integral part of our success at the Wine Alliance. He built so many relationships for our community throughout the country. Not only have we lost a tremendous leader, I was proud to call him a friend as so many others can share.”
Wollmuth had a long history in the Walla Walla Valley, moving there in 1995 to work in the cellular technology industry. In 1999, he co-founded Three Rivers Winery, the fourteenth licensed winery in the Walla Walla Valley. Three Rivers was subsequently sold to Foley Family Wines in 2009.
In 2011, Wollmuth assumed the position of executive director of the Wine Alliance, where he was responsible for overseeing marketing initiatives and strategic plans for member wineries. Wollmuth created a number of successful programs, including Reveal Walla Walla and Celebrate Walla Walla.
“His work will have a long, lasting legacy,” Braunel said.