Wine touring: A road trip to Walla Walla
As summer begins to fade, take advantage of August’s lazy wine-tasting days—or plan for the fall season—in Walla Walla, Washington. After an (approximately) six-hour road trip from the Seattle area to Walla Walla, find yourself immersed in six wine districts amid lush views of the Blue Mountain and vineyards.
The Walla Walla AVA feels European but only crosses state borders. Ancient lava and flooding have eroded the area’s landscape, leaving behind rich, layered soil perfect for growing grapes. The region is a red wine lover’s dream – major varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot, with white grapes accounting for just 5% of the viticulture.
Coming from the Tri-Cities, you will first come across the Westside Wine District. Popular destinations include School n°41housed in a 1915 school, the picnic areas of the Woodward Canyon Winery (established in 1981 and the second in the valley), and Waterbrook Cellar and Kitchentasting room and terrace by the pond for appetizers, sides, sandwiches and burgers.
Closer to downtown Walla Walla, Foundry Vineyards curates art alongside grapes – check the calendar for yoga, estate wine tours and exhibition openings. To accompany your wine, pass Cugini Italian Imports and Deliwhich serves authentic, freshly prepared deli meats, imported pastas and sauces, as well as take-out lasagna, meatballs and other frozen entrees.
Vineyards in downtown Walla Walla
Historic downtown Walla Walla has more than 30 wineries, all within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and several hotels (including the chaffinch and Marcus Whitman) clustered along and near Main Street. Many wineries even deliver to hotels.
Some of the downtown wineries include those owned by women Dama Wines and the full range at Gard winegrowers and Browne Family Vineyardsincluding many white wines. Seven Hills Wine Estate was one of the first estates in the area, and a converted auto repair warehouse is now the House of Smith Walla Walla Tasting Room. Retired NFL player (and hometown hero) Drew Bledsoe founded Bledsoe Family Vineyarda comfortable place with rich leather seats.
But of course, you can also enjoy a serendipitous experience, strolling from one cellar adjoining a parklet to another, enjoying a drink along the way.
Just east of downtown, wine lovers flock to the Airport District to find tasting rooms in quaint hangars, light industrial buildings and dining halls. Among them, rising options like the exclusive rosé Smak Wines in the Port of Walla Walla’s Winery Incubator program, as well as more established labels, including Dunham Cellars, Inflexible cellars and SYZYGY.
To stay on topic, spend the night at Eritage Resort just north of Walla Walla, surrounded by vineyards and wheat fields, with rooms positioned for perfect sunset views from 22 luxury suites. Two suites incorporate spacious kitchens and living areas, and standalone bungalows offer additional privacy with small patios overlooking the bright blue Lake Siena, teeming with frogs, dragonflies, and flying birds. Overnight stays include a generous cooked-to-order breakfast. Borrow one of the resort’s bikes to pedal around the adjacent vineyards, then head to the restaurant for the crushed results – wine made from the same vineyards. Free paddle boards and kayaks are available to guests, and an on-site pool rounds out the resort’s joys.
Southern Wine District
Set aside a long, lazy day to explore the rolling two-lane roads south of downtown Walla Walla — and many of the region’s most delightful views paired with tasting rooms at 21 wineries, wineries, vineyards, and winegrowers. You’ll spot compact vineyards, Blue Mountain, lavender flowers full of bees, and fields of pale wheat at every turn.
And most of the turns also take you straight to family, artisan, or unique vineyards. Reservations are recommended or required at most tasting rooms, with tastings starting around $20. This fee can be waived with a wine purchase of a specific amount or more (such as $40).
A Heart song can greet you as ultracool approaches Sleight of hand cellars. The modern, newly renovated tasting room has hundreds of vinyl albums for sale, and you can select a record to accompany a tasting. T-shirts with wine-related twists on rock classics can attest to your “appetite for fermentation.”
To Rear canvas, find plenty of outdoor seating and a flight of five wines to guide you through the nearby Red Mountain AVA or a “flights and bites” featuring locally sourced, seasonal ingredients paired with wines AVA Red Mountain and Walla Walla Valley. Throughout September, enjoy Canvasback’s ‘Sunday Suppers’, complete with food and live music.
The family business Saviah Cellars the estate’s vineyards produce for the winery’s tastings, which you can enjoy alongside a rotating art exhibit. Outdoor dog-friendly spaces include a covered pergola and fire pits. Taste Saviah’s certified sustainable, salmon-safe wines by the glass, bottle or with a flight.
For a unique Walla Walla experience, try the Tuscan aesthetic The Northstar Tasting Room Blending Experience to learn the science behind mixing. Prepare a bottle to take home or book one private cabin with bottle of wine, charcuterie board, warm blankets and lawn games on request.
Walla Walla Vineyards with Restaurants and Entertainment
Just east of town, Abeja offers tastings by reservation in the middle of a green and enchanting landscape and a restored century-old farm, which has become an inn with guest rooms and on-site catering. The Kitchen at Abeja is accepting reservations for its five- or seven-course prix fixe menu at $165/person, with additional Abeja wine pairings at $55 per person.
To Amavi Cellars, experience beautiful panoramic views, with plenty of seating overlooking the Pepper Bridge Vineyard estate of the wineries and Blue Mountain. Indoor and outdoor seating, a small selection of gourmet dishes, and a daily happy hour from 5-7 p.m. with pizza, beer, and wine available — no reservations required.
Bring picnic blankets and lawn chairs Domain Slicesprawling, family-friendly landscape for evening entertainment, a food truck and live music Friday and Saturday evenings. Of course, there’s also a tasting room, guided in-flight tastings, and ATV wine tours during regular business hours by reservation.
Or cook up a dinner of authentic tapas paired with Washington and Rioja wines at Valdemar Domains. Valdemar serves Spanish cuisine amidst a waterfall wall, canapes and a reflection pool.
Use the My WA Wine Card to find wineries in Walla Walla. The number of options may seem overwhelming, but most properties are close together, even in the Southside Wine District. If you plan to visit more than one room, consider booking one of Walla Walla’s many rooms. wine tourism companies – You can pass bikelimousine, accessible van, luxury sedan and, yes, Tesla.
Note: the next Fall Release Weekend November 4-6, 2022. Check other wine-centric wines Walla Walla Events year-round, including Walla Walla Restaurant Month, Walla Walla Tour, Spring Release Weekend, and concert and movie weekends.
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