Kirkland, Wash. – Over the weekend of June 18 my wife and I visited 21 wineries in and around Walla Walla over four days. My advice to those preparing for their own wine adventure? Better toughen up in preparation!
We had taken a Walla Walla trip before, but not for several years. Since our last visit the number of wineries has grown exponentially making it difficult to decide on wineries to visit. We certainly have a list of favorite wineries, and wanted to visit those, but we also wanted to discover a handful of hidden gems – to find some new favorites.
With all that being said, here are my ‘must visit’ Walla Walla wineries, many of which make fantastic whites, as well as late harvest Rieslings and dessert wines:
1. Woodward Canyon
*Note: they have a Reserve Room, too, that requires a reservation.
3. Long Shadow (must call and see if they will grant you an appointment)
4. aMaurice (only open Saturday)
5. Walla Walla Vintners (Saturday only)
6. Trust Cellers
7. Va Piano
9. Chateau Rollat
10. Pepper Bridge
* Open by appointment only!
Now, I want to hand out some special praise.
Best Tasting Room Experience
Cadaretta because of the uniqueness of their facility and the quality of their wines. Additionally, their sales director was a true delight, brimming with energy, knowledge, and passion.
Walla Walla Vintners for their knowledge of their wines, offering their outdoor grounds for a picnic, and being fun and engaging.
It’s tough to single out one wine or varietal; I was impressed with many of the Rose’s being poured (aMaurice) and late harvest Rieslings (Forgeron, Woodward Canyon).
If you are planning your own trip to Walla Walla, here’s Some advice to consider. Plan on a 3-day excursion since there are distinctive areas and you need to spend 3-4 hours minimum in each one!
Combine the Airport and East Walla Walla wineries in the same day. Note that some of the eastern wineries are only open on Saturday so plan accordingly.
Downtown is another day’s worth or roaming, sipping and searching. South of WW is another day in itself, plus you can venture to Milton-Freewater, Oregon, if you’re adventurous and have a designated driver!
Finally, on your way or out of town you’ll find another series of wineries on the west side. Good grief, there are a lot of wineries!
Tasting Room Hours
Most winery tasting rooms open at 11am, some at 10am, and still a few others don’t open until noon. Many require an appointment or ask that you call ahead to make sure someone will be there to host you.
Here’s a quick, partial schedule of tasting room hours I put together based on the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance map. I’ve also noted whether the winery charges a tasting fee.
L’Ecole daily 10-5/ Fee
Reininger-open daily 10-6/ Fee
Woodward Canyon- daily 10-5/ Fee
Three Rivers-daily 10-5/ Fee – they have a three-hole golf course too!
Cadaretta- by appt.
Chateau Rollat-10-5 Fri-Sun Fee
DaMa- Fri-Sat 11-6, Sun 11-2 Fee
Fort Walla Walla-Thurs-Mon 10-4:30 Fee
Otis Kenyon-Thurs-Mon 11-5 No Fee
Stephenson-Tues-Sun 11-5 Fee
Nicholas Cole M/F 1-6, Sat/Sun 10-5 Fee
Flying Trout-Fri/Sat 12-6 No Fee
Forgeron Cellars-daily 11-4 No Fee
Morrison Lane-Fri/Sun 12-5 No Fee
Sweet Valley-Mon/Sat 11-5 No Fee
Yellow Hawk-Fri/Sun 11-5:30 No Fee
Beresan-Fri-Sat 11-5/ No Fee
Northstar-Mon-Sat 10-4, Sun 11-4/ Fee
Pepper Bridge-daily 10-4/ Fee
Trust-Thurs/Fri 11-4, Sat 11-5 or appt, Sun 11-4/ Fee
Va Piano-Fri-Sun 11-5/ Fee
Dusted Valley-Thurs/Mon 12-5 No Fee
Gifford Hirlinger-Fri/Sun 11-5 No Fee
Saviah-Fri/Sat 11-5 No Fee
Watermill-daily 11-5 No Fee
aMaurice-Saturday only 10:30-4:30/ No Fee
Walla Walla Vintners-Saturday only 10:30-4:30/ No Fee
Five Star-Saturday only 10-4:30/ Fee