Our Saturday was spent visiting the town and wine area of Walla Walla, located 13 miles from the Oregon border. Leaving Yakima Valley, it was about an hour’s drive, I think – I did not time the drive, there was so much to take in and besides our unofficial wine guide, John, kept us fascinated with wine and historical facts.
Walla Walla is named after a Native American tribe who, along with the Cayuse tribe were firmly settled in the area. Interestingly, the first settlers to the area were Marcus and Narcissa Whitman who tried, unsuccessfully, to convert the indigeneous people to Christianity. The Whitman’s were eventually killed by the Cayuse tribe and today the Whitman College stands in their honour.
Our first tasting was at Woodward Canyon and the two whites, Sauvignon Blanc and the Chardonnay confirmed the quality that Woodward delivers. The 2010 Washington State Chard delivered beautiful citrus tones, married with aromatic toasted hazelnuts, hints of vanilla. The wine retails for $44 and is worth every US cent!
In Walla Walla we visited Charles Smith, a trendy spot that has found a following amongst the younger generation. Previously a rock band manager, Smith’s tasting room reflects that same kick-ass attitude and wines for tasting include the K Vintners and Charles Smith ranges.