Walla Walla is basically the Napa of the Northwest. The climate somewhat mimics that of California with the hot desert summers, and they are able to produce some beautifully sophisticated red wines as a result. I honestly prefer Walla Walla to Napa as the wine quality is often just as good, while the cost of lodging, tasting, and wines by the bottle are far more affordable.
The disadvantage would however be the drive. Walla Walla is a solid 4.5 hours from Seattle with a bathroom break or two. It is far enough that you aren’t able to simply jaunt over there for an overnight… a visit to the opposite side of the state constitutes a planned trip for the minimum of 2-3 nights. While it is a vacation I LOVE, sometimes it is just not attainable when I am in the mood for some beautiful Walla Walla wines. Plus, a trip over there
That is why I LOVE the annual Walla Walla Wine Tasting event at McCaw Hall!
This event has been annual for quite a few years consecutively now, and I hope that it continues in the future. The idea is that on a selected date in February there is a mass gathering of Walla Walla winemakers at McCaw Hall in downtown Seattle, pouring a few of their selected wines for event attendees. With over 140 wineries in Walla Walla, I think this idea is spectacular since the idea of sampling a good portion of them is a lot more attainable. Plus, with the winemakers/owners pouring themselves, I found the setting awesome! You are able to ask a lot of questions and learn all the cool back stories that are behind every label and bottle.
The date is usually a mid-February just around Valentine’d Day, and runs from 5pm-8pm. Admission was $50 and covered unlimited tastings from all the winemakers while at the event, plus complimentary appetizers (think fruit, nuts, cheeses).
With quite a few wineries that my husband and I were interested in on the list, we decided to divide and conquer! There were far too many to taste on our own. At each winery, we still limited ourselves to one or two small tastes, so that we were able to pace ourselves and sample a good variety. We collected business cards and made brochure notes regarding all our thoughts and favorites, which will be awesome to look back on next time we are in Walla Walla.
I did not find an event site for this to follow, so if you are interested in attending in the future, I would follow the Walla Walla Wine Alliance on Facebook, and can also get the tickets on the McCaw Hall ticketing website.
Walla Walla wine enthusiasts, Washingtonians who love wine and want to more, or even couples looking for a fun date night, this event is for you! Keep your eyes peeled for this event in the future, and hopefully it will inspire you to make a Walla Walla to enjoy some amazing wine in the future!
Some of the wineries there have been featured in my blog in the past. Here are links to a few so you can read more on the beautiful wineries we actually sampled from!
Have you ever attended this lovely event? If not, have you visited some of these wineries themselves in Walla Walla? If you ever need advice on where to go, what to try, never hesitate to reach out in the comments and I will get back to you!
X.O. – Abbey Co.