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Walla Walla

Appellation

The Walla Walla Valley Region


Vine to Wine - A Story of Four Seasons in the Walla Walla Valley from Wine Alliance on Vimeo.

06-29-12-0187Walla Walla represents the best of the Pacific Northwest wine industry for very good reason.  This valley has been a regional agricultural hub for more than a century; and it still abounds with crisp apples, juicy strawberries, tender asparagus, sumptuous sweet onions, and a cornucopia of other vibrant produce.  Nearly 2,000 acres of prime vineyards and more than 100 remarkable wineries are just the most recent expression of a rich farming heritage.

Official recognition began in February of 1984, when the federal government designated the Walla Walla Valley as an American Viticultural Area (AVA).  Viewed on a map, the appellation’s boundaries suggest the shape of a cut diamond—which is completely appropriate since there are so many striking facets to our region.  For example, the Walla Walla Valley overtly straddles state lines: two-thirds of the AVA is in Washington and one-third is in Oregon.  Why?  Because the finest wines reflect nature, and Mother Nature doesn’t recognize political borders.  Nor does she generate anything approaching monotonous uniformity.  So the elevations across our appellation soar between 400 feet and 2,000 feet above sea level.  Similarly, annual rainfall figures triple from a sparse seven inches at the western end of the valley to a lush 22 inches along the foothills of the Blue Mountains to the east.  If these attributes sound complex, you are correct.  But wait until you consider our mosaic of soils. Please see the Terroir page for a solid grounding in our very distinctive dirt.

11-04-11-8046Of course, a wine region is more than terrain.  At the heart of our valley is historic downtown Walla Walla.  It’s a welcoming place with buzzy restaurants, boutique shops, neighborly cafés, and tempting tasting rooms.  It’s also home to a rich and diverse arts scene—exemplified by public sculptures, studios, galleries, theatres, the world-renowned Walla Walla Foundry, and the longest continuously running symphony west of the Mississippi River.  Also close at hand are beautiful golf courses, expansive city parks, as well as superb hiking, cycling, and skiing in the Blue Mountains.  All reasons to experience our amazing appellation.