Walla Walla Valley Becomes the First to Win USA TODAY’s ‘Best Wine Region’ for Three Consecutive Years
(WALLA WALLA, Wash.) — What do “America’s Best Wine Region” and “America’s Best Wine Tasting Room” have in common? Both are in Walla Walla, at least according to the 2022 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. For Walla Walla, three times really is the charm. The Walla Walla Valley was voted America’s Best Wine Region for an unprecedented third consecutive year, an enormous accomplishment for the region, according to Visit Walla Walla and Walla Walla Valley Wine.
Even more, Long Shadows Vintners won the Best Wine Tasting Room category for the first time. The winery finished in third place in 2021, following two consecutive fourth-place finishes in 2020 and 2019.
“We congratulate all of the wine regions on earning their rightful place as finalists in the category, but it’s extremely gratifying to see the Walla Walla Valley finish at the top of the list for an unprecedented third consecutive year,” said Robert Hansen, executive director of Visit Walla Walla and Walla Walla Valley Wine. “From the arts, history, and culture, to the dining, agriculture, and scenery, to of course the wine, there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle that makes the Walla Walla Valley America’s Best Wine Region.”
The annual USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards are decided entirely through public voting. The Walla Walla Valley prevailed from a field of 20 finalists, including some of the most famous wine regions in the U.S. Long Shadows was the top vote-getter among 10 finalists in the Best Wine Tasting Room category.
Nestled on Walla Walla’s Westside, Long Shadows’ Chihuly Tasting Room has long been among the most unique and stunning found anywhere. A result of a friendship between Long Shadows’ founder Allen Shoup and famed glass artist Dale Chihuly, the tasting room represents a perfect marriage of art and wine, accentuated by a collection of Chihuly glass including a dramatic custom chandelier.
“We established Long Shadows in Walla Walla 20 years ago because we were drawn to its small-town charm and inspired by its pioneering winemakers,” said Dane Narbaitz, president of Long Shadows. “They established Walla Walla as a destination for world-class wines and hospitality. It is a tradition that inspires our winemaking and the experience our team seeks to offer guests. We are honored to be named America’s best tasting room at the same time Walla Walla is recognized as the country’s best wine region.”
The Walla Walla Valley has earned a groundswell of nationwide acclaim in recent years. Not only is it a three-time pick for Best Wine Region in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, the region was named one of Forbes’ 22 Best Places To Travel In The U.S. In 2022, the West’s best Emerging Wine Route in the 2021 Sunset Travel Awards, and one of Fodor’s Top places to go in the west in 2022.
About Walla Walla:
As the unofficial capital of Washington wine country, Walla Walla is home to more than 120 wineries, a nationally recognized culinary scene, access to an abundance of outdoor recreation, and an arts & entertainment scene that rivals cities many times its size. This community of just over 30,000 residents is known for many things, including its friendliness and hospitality, the quality of its wine, and of course the famous Walla Walla Sweet Onion. An easy and scenic four-hour drive from Seattle, Portland, or Boise, Walla Walla can also be accessed via Alaska Airlines daily non-stop flights from Seattle. For more information and to begin planning a trip to Walla Walla, visit www.wallawalla.org.
About Walla Walla Valley Wine:
Walla Walla Valley Wine is a nonprofit wine industry membership organization whose primary mission is to build an internationally acclaimed Walla Walla Valley wine brand among consumers, media, and trade by providing marketing programs on behalf of member wineries, vineyards, and partners. Walla Walla Valley Wine functions as the leading informational resource for consumers, media, and trade interested in learning more about the Valley’s wine industry. For more information visit www.wallawallawine.com.
About Long Shadows Vintners:
Washington wine visionary Allen Shoup founded Long Shadows in 2002. His idea for Long Shadows was as simple as it was complex. Recruit seven internationally acclaimed winemakers; give each access to Washington State’s best grapes, and outfit a winery to the vintners’ exacting cellar specifications. Seven stand-alone wineries are the result and comprise the Long Shadows’ portfolio: Chester-Kidder, Feather, Pedestal, Pirouette, Poet’s Leap, Saggi, and Sequel. Since the beginning, Long Shadows’ director of winemaking and viticulture, Gilles Nicault, has brought each winemaker’s vision to completion. The wines are made at a state-of-the-art winery in Walla Walla, home to Long Shadows’ Chihuly Tasting Room. The wines are also available for tasting at Long Shadows’ Woodinville location. More information is available at longshadows.com.