Friday, April 16, 2010

Walla Walla Wine Tasting Suggestions

Mr. F and I are dreaming of a three day weekend to Walla Walla. If you're interested in visiting the area, here are my suggestions!

I would skip over the awesome but more commerical Walla Walla wineries that you can find in grocery stores, for example, Tamarack Cellars, Northstar and L'Ecole. While some of my old favorites, they're not as special as the smaller boutique wineries that are not easy to find in Seattle. (Although Northstar and L'Ecole have beautiful and delicious Reserve tastings!) Our top three favorite wineries in Walla Walla are Dusted Valley Vitners, Mannina Cellars and Flying Trout wines. (We joined all three of their wine clubs!)

Since it's hard to visit all of my favorite wineries in one weekend, I'll break them up into four main regions. (Yes, we are big wine nerds.) 

In the airport area, there are many good ones like Syzygy and Five Star Cellarsbut make sure to taste at Mannina Cellars and Buty. (We joined the Mannina Cellars wine club because their entire lineup of wines are amazing and consistently great.) In the summer, I really enjoy the Buty Sémillon, Sauvignon and Muscadelle.
 I also highly recommend trying Rose of the Stones, part of the second label for Buty, called the BEAST.  Even if you're not a fan of Rose, taste this and it will totally changed your mind. 

Dusted Valley and Saviah (in Southern Walla Walla/Milton Freewater) are phenomenal. If you get a chance, enjoy the Walla Walla Valley Reserve Syrah and Grenache at Dusted Valley. They have a huge lineup and most of it is fantastically excellent. (We love being part of their wine club, Stained Tooth Society!)  Flying Trout, in Milton-Freewater, is a must taste BUT you have to call ahead, 541.938.8376. It's worth it. I promise. They have a fantastic Malbec, one of the first to grow in Washington. The winemaker went to school with us and she spends three months of the year in Argentina. 

Lowden Hills is one of my absolute favorite wineries, particularly their See You There Syrah and it's to the West of Walla Walla, near Highway 12. I've blogged about them in detailed before, please check out this link to the previous post!

Downtown Walla Walla is easy to walk around and to wine taste at night. DaMa has a fun tasting room. I'd also suggest Ash Hollow. Although, I'd skip Sleight of Hand, because it doesn't stand out. Yellow Hawk Cellars can be found easily in Seattle but their "port" is delicious. 

Overall, if the grapes are from Ciel du Cheval vineyard or from any Red Mountain vineyard you can't go wrong.  

If you like Mexican food, go to the Worm Ranch on the way to, or from, Highway 12. It's a fish and tackle store, with unbeatable authentic Mexican food made by four cute little old grandmothers. Merchants is also a great place for a spaghetti dinner with lots of local wines. A more upscale option with an amazing local wine list would be Creektown Cafe

Feel free to ask me any other Walla Walla questions!!


OneCraftyFox said...

My friends and I used to host wine parties, one every season (4 times per year). But then people started getting married and having babies... so it faded after a couple of years.

My fav places for tastings are Napa Valley, Cali; and Niagara on the Lake, Ontario Canada.

Some amazing wineries and tours to be found.

Have a great weekend!

Kristin said...

You're making me wanna take a trip lady!

Kelsey @ Seattle Smith's said...

My girlfriend just moved from Walla Walla and woudl rant and rave about the cute city! Living in Seattle, I have tried a ton of the Eastern WA yummy wines!

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

How fun!! I've never been to Walla Walla but always wanted to go and do wine tasting there.

Christine Pobke said...

oooh soooo many good ones!! personally i adore l'ecole but you've listed some new ones that i've never heard of! better make a trip out there stat! :) xx

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