- Reply by EMark, Jun 21, 2011.
A few years ago I spent a couple days in Walla Walla for business. I was stunned to learn that there are well over 100 wineries in the area. It is easy to find tasting rooms in the downtown area, and I'm sure you can find maps to out-of-town tasting rooms.
Since I was on business, we did not have time to do much wine tasting, but we did go to one of the downtown tasting roooms. My business associate tasted a Chardonnay in the hotel bar on our one night there and really gushed about it. The waitress told us where this winery's tasting room was. It turned out to be just down the street from our first call the next day. My colleague ended up buying a case of the Chardonnay and a case of Cab. She was going to use them as giveaways at an upcoming conference where she had a booth in the exhibitor's hall. I am a red wine kind of guy, and I have to agree that the Cab was very good. My recollection is that both of these came in at under $20 per bottle.
Here is the best thing about Walla Walla. It is a small town. The nicest people live there. If you ask for help people go out of their way to help you.
While we were in the hotel bar, we asked the cocktail waitress for a restaurant recommendation for dinner. Rather than pushing us off to the hotel's dining room, she recommended a place called 26 Brix a few blocks away. Sadly, I just googled Walla Walla restaurants and 26 Brix has closed (restaurants to that with amazing consistency).
The next day we walked up to the recommended downtown tasting room and discovered the door was locked. It was around lunch time, and we assumed that they were taking a mid-day break. We turned to leave and a couple who were walking by asked if we were there to taste wines. "Yes," I replied, "but it appears they are out to lunch." The lady responded, "The husband of the lady who runs the tasting room works in the real estate office next door. We'll have him call her." Before we could stop them, they were off into the real estate office. They came back out fairly quickly, and we made small talk. After 7-8 more minutes, the tasting room door was unlocked and we were invited in. The real estate man then hosted us for the tasting. Apparently, his wife was totally otherwise engaged. I really don't know what his connection was to the winery, but he knew his stuff and was totally charming. Like I mentioned, my colleague bought two cases from him.
- Reply by dmcker, Jun 21, 2011.
- Reply by zufrieden, Jun 24, 2011.
If I'm not to late to chime in, make sure you take a side-trip through the beautiful Lake Chelan region which, I can vouch for with some authority, is producing some very toothsome wines. This region is north of Walla Walla but nothing is really so far from anywhere in Washington that you cannot reach it in a few hours. The state is replete with a natural beauty backdrop for wine drinking, so enjoy.
- Reply by Lucha Vino, Jun 25, 2011.
Here are some wineries to check out in Walla Walla (in addition to what I listed in the links from D above)
- Forgeron Cellars
- Vinyl Wines
- Sleight of Hand
- Abeja (not sure if they do tastings at their winery)
- Tranche Cellars (may have to make an appointment)
And these are all excellent in Chelan: