WASHINGTON D.C. – The Distilled Spirits Council today announced a new American heritage tourism initiative to celebrate the spirits industry’s rich history and cultural ties to the past and present. To launch the program, the Council will host a media tour that kicks off with an archaeology field school and tasting of rare spirits Sept. 28 at the George Washington Distillery at Historic Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon Historian Dennis Pogue and Archaeologist Ester White will lead journalists through an archaeology field school at the historic distillery, whose reconstruction the Distilled Spirits Council is supporting. The media tour will also include the 3rd Annual Mount Vernon Gala, where more than 750 guests – including Members of Congress, top Administration officials and foreign Ambassadors – will gather on the lawn at Mount Vernon for a dinner, special auction and fireworks presentation hosted by the Distilled Spirits Council, the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America and Historic Mount Vernon. The tour continues through Kentucky and Tennessee, where reporters will visit America’s leading historic distilleries, tasting and experiencing the cultural flavor behind well-known products such as Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Woodford Reserve, George Dickel and Jack Daniel’s. The tour will allow lifestyle and business writers to learn the whiskey-making process from start to finish and discover the unique Southern heritage important to the products. Who: Business and lifestyle journalists What: Media tour to launch Whiskey Heritage Initiative and Archaeology Field School When: Sept. 28 – Oct. 2 Where: Beginning at George Washington’s Distillery at Historic Mount Vernon Because of group airfare and accommodations, the trip’s cost is very low, and full media stipends are also available. For more information on the tour, contact Frank Coleman (202-682-8840) or Shawn Starbuck Kelley (718-638-4345).