Taste Walla Walla: An Entire AVA In One Room
March 6, 2011 by Doug Haugen
In the summer of 2009, we traveled to Walla Walla to see what all the fuss was about. For a wino, rolling into Walla2 was like Charlie walking through the gates of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Three days of tour de force wine tasting barely scratched the surface of Washington’s wine kaaba. Starting with the downtown sector, moving to the airport district and ending with the southside, with short periods of rest, hydration and bottle drop-off at the Juniper Guest House, we were amazed by the town, the winemakers, and most importantly, the juice.
The Walla Walla Valley is home to a list of wineries longer than Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s shooting arm, with the combined talent of the All Star team. Three days isn’t nearly enough time to spend some QT at each of the 100+ vinolabs operating in the valley, or even to pop into them all. But, even if you were to throw itineraries to the whistling wind and take a flight-of-the-bumblebee approach, you are inevitably going to buzz back home with more eye-popping nectar in the trunk than you know what to do with (helpful hint: drink it).
If you haven’t been to Walla Walla, or if it’s been a while, you should go. But, if you live in the greater Seattle area, you’ll be happy to know that Walla2 is coming to you in the form a roadshow called Taste Walla Walla. Fifty of the Valley’s wineries have been caravaning around the countryside pouring their juice for both consumers and those in the trade. Already having been through New York and Portland, Taste Walla Walla will be pitching camp in Seattle on March 13 at SoDo Park from 4:30-7:00. In a single room, you can taste through nearly half of the WWV’s producers, get a firm grip on the fruit and style of Walla Walla, and find your favorites to look for on the shelves of your local wine retailer. It’s a great opportunity to try the new releases of the wineries you know and love, and to taste the portfolios of some of the new ventures that are popping up faster than dandelions on a fertilized lawn.
Tickets for the event are $50 or $90 for two, so you’ll save if you take a date. In addition to all the vino, you’ll get savory hors d’oeuvres from Herban Feast Catering and view an art exhibit called “Washington Wine: In Your Face” featuring Original portraits of Walla Walla Winemakers by artist Kristen Winn. All in all, this is going to be a great day, and an effective warm-up for Taste Washington two weeks later. Taste Walla Walla isjust a week away, and the last two events sold out, so you’ll want to get your tickets now. Otherwise, maybe we’ll run into each other this spring/summer in Walla Walla wine country.
Pouring at Taste Walla Walla