Tasting team member Dr. J wraps up his two part feature highlighting his visit to Walla Walla, Washington. Not only does he have a nicely written story, that’s quite a photo he took of the scenic Walla Walla Valley.
Many of the area wineries opened at 11am each day. We were usually early and we happened upon Gifford Hirlinger, who opened at 10:30. They offered a few varieties that many others did not, including Malbec, Tempranillo, and Petit Verdot. We chose the estate Tempranillo as our favorite.
Basel Cellars had the most beautiful grounds of anyone. The winery is a very large building on a hilltop. We took home a 2008 Malbec and a 2008 Earth Series Vol 2. The Earth Series is a blend of Cab Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and a little Syrah.
We woke up on the last day of the trip with three more stops in mind; two of which were next door to each other. Àmaurice had wonderful Malbec and Viognier. With only three spots left in our case and two more stops, we chose the Malbec. This one was better than most South American Malbecs I have had.
Across the street was Walla Walla Vintners. They are one of the oldest wineries in the state of Washington and one of the best. I was told they believe they have the best red wine of anyone in the state, if not the country. Since I couldn’t pick just one for my case coming home with us, I picked a half case from them and had it shipped to me. It was hard to choose a favorite amongst the Cabs, Merlot, Sangiovese, and perfect blends.
The last stop of the trip was Pepper Bridge Winery. We had actually been there the day before to taste when our wonderful hostess Emily saved us and said she could ship our wine home. Local pack and ship stores would no longer ship wine. We found this out after filling a case and a half of wine. Most wineries will ship for you, but only their own wine. Emily went above and beyond to help us out and we are so grateful! We got a bottle of their Cabernet to finish off our case and get on our way.
My wife and I loved Walla Walla and we hope to go back in the future and visit many of the other great wineries of the region. It was a wonderful experience with a lot of great people.