The Wine of the Walla Walla Valley

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Sipping wine in your kitchen is an act of routine. Savoring a glass while visiting a Walla Walla Valley winery is the realm of experience. Why such a difference? It could be the warmth of sunshine on your face. Or it might be that panoramic view of the Blue Mountains. Perhaps it’s just the soft smiles and welcoming voices of locals who know they are fortunate to call this place home. Let the notable names listed here share a taste of their stories, and encourage you to come join the experience.

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Our valley is a beautiful oasis amid the vast sagebrush desert that rolls across most of America’s northwest interior. The name Walla Walla means “many waters,” and it highlights the rivers and aquifers that provide so abundantly for those who discover this place—from the earliest native peoples and French fur trappers to Oregon Trail pioneers and Victorian wheat barons. For each wave of arrivals, the Walla Walla Valley presents a remarkable agricultural bounty. Our wine industry continues this rich legacy, and you can explore why through the links listed below.

Click here to download the Walla Walla Valley AVA Map & Infographic


  • 1800s

    Early explorers Lewis and Clark arrived in the Walla Walla Valley during 1806.  Fur traders established a post here a dozen years later, and the wagon trains of Oregon Trail pioneers began rolling through in the 1840s.  By the time of the U.S. Civil War, a gold rush transformed Walla Walla into the largest city of what was then the Washington Territory.
  • Early 1900s

    Popular American President Teddy Roosevelt visited the campus of Whitman College in Walla Walla during 1903.  Four years later, local musicians established the region’s first orchestra—and the Walla Walla Symphony continues today as the oldest, continually operating symphony west of the Mississippi River.
  • 1970s

    Gary Figgins began planting grape vines at his family homestead in 1974, and then established Leonetti Cellar as Walla Walla’s first commercial winery in 1977.  Four years later, Wine & Spirits Magazine recognized the very first Leonetti Cabernet (from the 1978 vintage) as one of the best in the nation.
  • 1980s

    Woodward Canyon was established as the second commercial winery in Walla Walla in 1981.  Neighboring L’Ecole No. 41 became number three during 1983.  One year later, the federal government designated the Walla Walla Valley as one of the first official wine appellations (or AVAs) in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Mid-1990s - Present

    Dozens of now-famous names followed in the footsteps of our local wine industry’s founding fathers to establish new labels.  Consequently, the words Walla Walla started appearing prominently on restaurant and retail wine lists across the country and then internationally.  When Wine & Spirits Magazine announced its respected Top 100 Wineries of the World list for 2012, five of them were from Walla Walla.

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