Part of visiting Walla Walla was to seek out some of their wineries. I was surprised at how many wineries were around this small valley and found a great website that helped when planning to visit a few. We found many tasting rooms right in the downtown area, but we prefer whenever possible to visit the winery itself. Part of the experience is the wines themselves, but really, I just dig the scenery & how they stage the tasting rooms.
Out of the nearly 200 wineries, we only hit 3. But, they were 3 enjoyable stops & made a dent in our alcohol budget. From the research I did, most wineries charge a $5 tasting fee, which was ‘refunded’ with a purchase.
The first was Amavi, and I loved the modern structure and feel. The view was stupendous, and the tasting room attendent(crap, I forgot her name!) was a joy to chat with. We were the only ones there, and the rest of the staff was busy preparing a luncheon for Eric Idle. Healthy pours, extremely tasty estate wines, and for the first time I actually fell in love with a Rose. This Cabernet Franc Rose has a very small production and sells out quickly. Every other Rose I have had has been cloyingly sweet, but this was bright with a nice mineral taste couple with just enough fruit to even it out. Just yum. We purchased the rose and also a Cabernet Sauvignon that we enjoyed.
The second winery we happened upon was Va Piano Vineyards. A short drive through the vineyards to the house in the valley, the tasting room wasn’t clearly marked. We guessed at the right door and landed in a very cozy tasting room. Heavy on the Tuscan theme, we were told that was because the owner studied in Florence, Italy and fell in love with the area. What was unique about this winery, is a series of wines that support the charitable work of Father Bruno Segatta. All the labels on the series are made from the art of Father Bruno. We snagged a Sauvignon Blanc from here, and made our way to our last winery.
Our last stop was Isenhower Cellars, recommended by the tasting attendent at Amavi. The tasting attendent here (I really need to write down peoples names!), was also very friendly. A graduate of the wine program at Walla Walla community college, by the end of the visit she was trying to encourage me to join the program! Super cute pooch on premises, along with a decent wine tasting, we left with a bottle and called our Walla Walla exploration good… for now.
We both really enjoyed Walla Walla – easy to walk around, extremely friendly people, beautiful views and good, affordable wine. What’s not to love?