So we made our annual pilgrimage to Walla Walla Washington this past weekend and it did not disappoint. Our main goal was to attend the Spring Valley Vineyard harvest party and then on to other fantastic Walla Walla fine wine establishments. Spring Valley has been a favorite of mine for over 8 years and this was their fourth annual harvest extravaganza. This is a mailing list only event and they have been paring down the invitees over the last couple years. Get on the list, you just might get invited to their next event. The SVV Uriah is their flagship Merlot blend with consistent ratings over the years but their Frederick Cabernet Blend is fast becoming a fan favorite with some equally good ratings. Don’t forget their Derby Cab, Muleskinner Merlot, Nina Lee Syrah and their regular bottling’s of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Their winemaker, Serge Laville, a native of France has come to Walla Walla to work magic with the western Washington fruit. His wine making philosophy of “listening to the vineyard” and “allowing nature to take its course in the wine making process with minimal, careful intervention including picking, sorting, and punching down the wines gently by hand” has paid dividends in spades. If you haven’t tried SVV yet, though it’s not the most inexpensive wines, buy a bottle anyway. You’ll thank yourself later.
Another Wall Walla favorite of mine is Patrick M. Paul Vineyards. A very limited production winery with a very special Cabernet Franc. The first time I had one of their wines I would swear I was drinking a left bank Bordeaux. (really!) A suave wine with character and ‘old world’ styling. Get in on this wine while you can as their prices are still very reasonable, for now. We made it to several other special places such as the Chateau Rollat‘s tasting room, the Airport, where you’ll find many garage wineries like Dunham and Buty. On our way home we stopped on the Oregon side of Walla Walla appellation to visit Zerba Cellars. Winery of the year for 2011. If you check this place out you’ll find out why. They now have a tasting room in Dundee, in the heart of Oregon wine country. I love their Syrah. Of course heading east back toward Portland we never miss a stop at Woodward Canyon Winery. Rick Small, owner and production director is one of the originals in Walla Walla and operates one of the oldest wineries in the area. I am never disappointed with their Estate wines, their Artist Series Cabernet and Old Vines Cabernet. They have a non vintage red blend sold only at the tasting room that has to be tasted to be believed. The price is less than $20/bottle and 10% off case purchases, don’t miss this one. We always enjoy ourselves in Walla Walla wine country and never fail to seek out places we’ve never been. A fun experience and adventure can always be had in Walla Walla. Newsletter sign up. ♠ jp