Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Washington Wines Auction Honors Blood of Gods Promoter Stacy Buchanan with Emerging Leader Award

By meerna Jun12,2024

Stacy Buchanan, publisher of Blood of Gods magazine and founder of Walla Walla’s annual Merrymaking Festival, will receive the Emerging Leader Award at TOAST! Celebration of the 2024 Washington Wine Auction. (Photo courtesy of the Washington Wine Auction)

WOODINVILLE, Wash. — The Washington Wine Auction, one of the five largest charitable wine auctions in the U.S., has announced Stacy Buchanan, publisher of Blood of Gods and promoter of the Walla Walla Festival, as the recipient of one of its Emerging Leader awards.

This year is the 37th annual Washington Wine Auction, and the presentation to Buchanan will be part of the third annual TASTE! The honorary ceremony will be held on Thursday, August 8 at Sparkman Cellars in Woodinville.

The Winemaker Picnic & Barrel Holiday Auction – whose auction portion is sponsored by Seattle author/wine merchant Paul Zitarelli and his Full Pull Wines – will be held on Friday, August 9, on the Château Ste campus. Michelle in Woodinville, followed by an auction signing gala on Saturday, August 10. The online gala auction starts on Tuesday, August 6 and will last until August 10. Money raised will help support the Seattle Children’s wine and oenology program at the University of Washington and grant partner Vital Wines in the Walla Walla Valley.

The Washington Wine Auction has started its TOAST! program in 2022, and the 2023 recipients are listed here.

For the second year in a row, nine TOAST! recipients will be announced this week on

Monday – TOAST! Vine to Wine Award: Eduardo Enriquez, Corliss Estates
Monday – TOAST! Healthy Earth, Healthy Communities Award: Kiona Vineyards and Winery
Monday – TOAST! Award of Distinction: Markus Keller, Washington State University
Today – TOAST! Emerging Leader: Jordan Small, Woodward Canyon Winery
Today – TOAST! Emerging leader: Matías Kúsulas, Gård Vintners/Desert Wind Winery/Massalto/Valo
Today – TOAST! Emerging Leader: Stacy Buchanan, Blood of Gods
9:00 a.m. Wednesday – TOAST! Wine Industry Champion: TBA
10:00 a.m. Wednesday – Washington Wines Star Award Auction: TBA
11:00 a.m. Wednesday – Lifetime Achievement Award: TBA

Previously announced honorees at the 2024 Washington Wine Auction are Leslie Sbrocco (honorary chair), Christophe Baron of Bionic Wines (honorary winemaker) and Robert Rivera of Goose Ridge Estate Vineyard (honorary grower). Co-chairs are Laura and Ian MacNeil and John and Deanna Oppenheimer.

“We are delighted to recognize these outstanding individuals for their significant contributions to the Washington wine industry,” says Jamie Peha, executive director of Auction of Washington Wines since 2019. “Their commitment, innovation and passion have played a key role in shaping the success and reputation of the entire region. “

TOAST Honoree Celebration sponsors include Republic National Distributing Co., Saxco, Woodinville Wine Country, Washington State Wine Commission, Château Ste. Michelle and Trysk Printing Solutions.

The Emerging Leader Award seeks to recognize those whose contributions, service or involvement in the Washington wine industry create pathways and provide a vision for the future. Buchanan describes himself as part publisher, producer and event promoter who is “a one-man hype machine with a preacher’s passion to connect not hearts to God, but wine to heavy metal music.”

In the spring of 2020, the fifth-generation Walla Walla Valley resident began publishing Blood of Gods magazine twice a year. Then it was time for Merrymaking – an art, music and wine festival in downtown Walla Walla. The third edition of Merrymaking will take place this year on Saturday, July 20 at The Motor Co.

There is no doubt that Buchanan has struck a chord with audiences and describes his approach as “the gift of uniting people and ideas from a variety of backgrounds and industries, attracting awards, accolades and pilgrims along the way.”

Early supporters include Paul Grieco, the irreverent chef and owner of New York’s famed Terroir winery, who was present at Buchanan’s first Merrymaking.

“This is the crowd and demographic that the wine industry misses,” said Grieco, a two-time James Beard Award winner for his work in wine presentation – including the annual Summer of Riesling celebration.

Buchanan’s free seminar kicking off Merrymaking 2024 will feature Justin Moore, head sommelier of the District of Columbia, and international wine critic Anthony Mueller, formerly of Michelin’s Wine Advocate.

Buchanan’s reach and innovation have earned him a spot among Wine Enthusiast’s 40 Future Tastemakers of 2023, a group the magazine’s editors praised for their efforts on behalf of an industry grappling with unprecedented uncertainty and neo-prohibition.

“Advocating for the inclusion of people from all backgrounds in an industry that is struggling to find a foothold in appeal beyond its traditional base, and supporting the environment, supporting each other and supporting workers in the hospitality industry that everyone depends on in one way or another ” – they wrote.

Last year, Buchanan gave Imbibe readers a tour of the Walla Walla Valley’s craft beverage scene, and the publication’s “Imbibe 75” list places him among those “who will inspire the way we all drink in the coming year.” His recent speaking engagements on behalf of the wine industry took him to New Zealand and allowed him to appear on Taste Washington. The seminar he attended at the Seattle Festival earlier this year was titled: Boundary Breakers: Washington’s founding icons and modern-day mavericks.

The book he is working on is planned to be published next year.

According to Buchanan, “It is clear that the mission goes on and the show goes on.”

By meerna

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