17 takes on what differentiates Walla Walla from the world

When one winery thrives, it helps lift the wine industry as a whole.”

— L’Ecole No 41

To celebrate Walla Walla’s 40th anniversary, we asked our wineries what they think differentiates Walla Walla from other places in the world. Their answers take us into the nooks and crannies, the spark and smile of the Valley’s character. What comes out time and again? The community, the camaraderie, and the spirit of the valley.


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1. “It has always been about collaboration and comraderie: being pushed by those that came before you and pulling-up those who came after you. It’s a special characteristic that I hope is never lost.” — Lagana Cellars

2. “Two things: a cultural commitment to quality of wine, and it’s the prettiest town in Eastern Washington.” — Isenhower Cellars

3. “The valley has tremendous sunshine and an ability to ripen grapes with intensity but, even more importantly, freshness. More importantly, the community supports each other in direct ways, whether through education or social support.” — Echolands Winery

4. “It’s the community. It is such a small community, yet we all lean on each other to support each other. The community also is helping put Walla Walla on the map with steady striving to make better and better wine from our area.” — Dossier Wine 

5. “The Blue Mountains, unique terroir, and climate make for beautiful WA wines.” — Seven Hills Winery

6. “The history, the community feeling, and the appreciation of the terroir.” — Floating Balance Cellars

7. “The people. We have a lot of very like minded passionate people that have a common goal of growing the best grapes they can to make the best wine possible. The community helps support through the restaurants, arts, and Viticulture & Enology program.” — Va Piano Vineyards

8. “Friendly, small town with great accommodations, restaurants and wineries. We are not afraid to push boundaries and try new things.” — Gramercy Cellars

9. “Being in a small, somewhat isolated town still endures throughout the industry decades later.” — Woodward Canyon

10. “Friendliness and collaboration between the wineries. We find it incredible that the wineries that choose to be islands are actually the exception, not the rule. The community sees firsthand and continues to support the idea that a rising tide raises all ships.” — Pepper Bridge Winery

11. “Walla Walla Valley is known for its collaborative nature with every winery believing in the brand that is Walla Walla Valley. We are also different because we are able to grow almost any varietal and every producer puts their spin on the wines they make, creating a diversity that you won’t find in other wine regions.” — Smoky Rose Cellars

12. “Walla Walla’s deep history in farming and sense of community. Our soils and climate are truly unique and diverse. The Walla Walla Way.” — Bledsoe Wine Estates

13. “Wine Spectator a few years ago named the Walla Walla “Napa in Blue Jeans”, which is pretty accurate. We produce premium wines from a wide array of grape varieties, our lands and soils are perfectly suited to growing some of the best wine grapes in the word, and our culture is friendly, collaborative, and inspired. To quote Gary Figgins, ‘the best leaders push the person ahead of them and pull the person behind them,’ and Walla Walla does that very well.” — FIGGINS

14. “The Walla Walla Valley is unique in its climate and geology. Warmer and windier than other parts of the Columbia Valley, Walla Walla is also heavily influenced by the Blue Mountains. The southwest prevailing winds that blow up the Columbia River rise over the Horse Heaven Hills and blow into the valley, right in the path of one of the largest generating wind farms in the continental U.S. Rainfall is minimal, with about 8 inches in the south and western portions of the valley, increasing to as much 22 inches in the northeast foothills of the Blues. Cool night-time air out of the Blue Mountains creates larger diurnal temperature differentials between day-time high and night-time low temperatures, often as much as 50°F, ideal for ripening fruit while preserving natural acidity. The camaraderie that the wine community has built is rare. When one winery thrives, it helps lift the wine industry as a whole.” — L’Ecole No 41

15. “Walla Walla is a really special place that brings people together. The wine industry especially here represents art, science, craft, geography, agriculture, and pleasure through its wine. This is just a small piece of Walla Walla. Walla Walla has so much diversity, culture and history that can be appreciated by visitors and locals alike.” — Walla Walla Vintners

16. “It’s a community that attracts dreamers. Because of that, you see a lot of people crafting, shaping, building, imagining and realizing their dreams. Here, there is a spirit of camaraderie and community. Neighbors work together towards common goals and interests, and founding fathers mentor the next generation of Washington wine stars. It’s where we grow our grapes, make our wines, raise our families and where we are proud to call home.” — Dusted Valley

17. “That guests get to speak and interact with the actual owners of the wine businesses they are visiting. The people with the true passion.” — Delmas

17 takes on what differentiates Walla Walla from the world