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Walla Walla

Walla Walla. It's a fun name to say—and almost everyone who visits has a different way of saying it. The small town in southeastern Washington has been making a big name for itself as of late, growing from a small wheat farming community at the foot of the Blue Mountains to a world-class wine destination with over 125 wineries in just a few short decades.


But unlike many of the world's most famous grape-growing regions, Walla Walla doesn't specialize in one definitive varietal or style; thanks to a range of soils, elevation, and micro-climates, the area excels at everything from Cabernet Sauvignon to Tempranillo to Malbec to Merlot. Indeed, a wine to suit every taste—and pronunciation. Still, if pressed, locals and critics alike will usually say that Walla Walla Syrah is the thing to get. The top five varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon (36%), Syrah (18%), Merlot (16%), Cabernet Franc (7%), and Malbec (4%).

Don't expect the pine trees and misty skies of nearby Seattle or Portland; here, it's all about rolling hills covered with sagebrush or rows and rows of grapevines. In the growing season, the vagrancy of those vines creates a magical effect against the otherwise arid land—especially as the sun begins to descend, coloring the sky with vibrant orange-red streaks. Walla Walla's sunsets are legendary and some of the most enchanting. One of the most visited wineries in Walla Walla is:


Ken and Ginger Harrison founded Abeja in 2000, restoring a century-old farmstead in Walla Walla and cultivating a 38-acre property. The wines focused on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and chardonnay, are made by husband-and-wife duo Daniel Wamplfer and Amy Alvarez-Wamplfer. The name Abeja translates to “bee” in Spanish, a reference to the farmers’ ethos of respecting the environment at all levels to maintain a fully functioning ecosystem. Visits to Abeja are strictly by appointment, and the property itself is stunning—the most idyllic, elegantly rustic country farmhouse setting you can imagine.

Abejas chardonnay charms with its gentle white floral aromas, nectarine, and fresh peach notes, and a broad, flowing undercurrent of lemon blossom acidity. Its Cabernet Sauvignon is exceptional, striking a balance between a taut line of rocky tannins and fleshier smoked cherry and violet pastille flavors.

What is the best time to visit the Walla Walla Valley? Anytime, there is no wrong time. But if hard-pressed, aim for the first weekend in May—well after bud break and when visitors can sample the Spring Release—or, better yet, mid-June, when internationally known growers and expert speakers descend on the town to celebrate the region's vast canon of wines.

When planning your visit to Walla Walla, it's suggested that you make your Motel/Hotel, Airbnb, Dinner Reservations, and Wine Tours early, as everything gets booked up fast.

Per the Great Northwest Wine Magazine

Judging for the 23rd annual Platinum Awards took place October 26 -28, 2022. Here are this year’s winning wineries:


Double Platinum – 97 Points

Abeja 2019 Merlot


Platinum – 94 points

Long Shadow Vintners – 2018 Pedestal Merlot


Platinum – 95 points

L’Ecole # 41 – 2019 Pepper Bridge Vineyard – Apogee Red Wine


Platinum – 93 points

Golden Ridge Cellars – 2018 Estate Red


Platinum – 94 points

Lagana Cellars – 2018 Nox Eternelle Seven Hills vineyard Carmenere

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