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Wander with Fiona Mak • Recipes for Success

“In Walla Walla we celebrate our diversity! Spend the day seeking out BIPOC-owned wineries and businesses.”


When looking for lodging, I recommend The Barn B&B. Owners Anand & Naina Rao created a luxurious, purpose-built, family-run country inn or ‘auberge de campagne’ located 10 minutes west of downtown, amidst the vineyards and farmlands in the heart of wine country. Or if you prefer to be downtown, check out The Wesley, a chic resort located blocks from Main St. hosted by owners David & Robert Wesley.

10:00 AM: Start your day at Taqueria Mi Pueblito, an insider’s favorite, there are 15 breakfast items on the menu including burritos, tortas and chilaquiles. Fresh, hot and fast, it is a great place to fill up before a day of wine tasting. They have an extensive menu and two convenient locations, the Issacs Ave. location is on the way to your first tasting – make sure to hit the salsa bar.

11:00 AM: For your first tasting, visit us at SMAK Wines in the Airport Incubators. We are the first Asian woman-owned winery in Washington! At SMAK, we are committed to rosé only production because we believe that rosé should not be limited to a summer-time wine. We want to drink rosé all year round, just not the same one! By choosing a different variety and winemaking method, we create a broad range of rosés, and the possibilities of wines we can make are endless. Each wine we create reflects the seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Reservations are recommended.

11:45 AM: Head next door to Hoquetus Winery. The fusion of music, visual arts and winemaking create a unique and creative tasting experience hosted by owner and winemaker, Robert Gomez. His diverse background, from musician to mixologist, sommelier to winemaker, has shaped the thoughtful approach to crafting wine. Reservations are recommended.

12:30 PM: Time to seek out Soi 71 for lunch. They are located at 330 W. Main Street, Walla Walla’s classic Thai food truck.  Translated from Thai, ‘soi’ means side-street. They draw inspiration from the side-street food markets throughout Thailand and around their childhood home on Soi 71 in Bangkok. Walla Walla Indian Cuisine located on Main St. is another excellent stop for a flavorful lunch.

1:30 PM: After fueling up, walk down to Rasa Vineyards. Owned by Pinto and Billo Naravane, MW, they create ultra-premium, terroir-specific wines to tell their stories and connect with their guests.  Visit their new downtown location. Reservations are recommended.

2:30 PM: Time to wander downtown to the Combine Art Collective. The collective exhibits and sells fine arts and crafts by regional artists. With a commitment to supporting and enhancing the Walla Walla Valley’s art scene, this exciting new gallery features the work of 15 local artists.

3:30 PM: Now head to Dossier. Owned by Sidney Rice and Tim Lenihan, Dossier offers a modern approach to luxury wine inspired by the region’s great potential, incredible local talent, and distinctive terroir. Reservations are recommended.

6:00 PM: Dinner tonight is at Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen. Husband-and-wife team Island and Chris lovingly prepare dishes authentically inspired by their travels and tailored to celebrate the beauty and agricultural bounty of the Walla Walla Valley and the Pacific Northwest. Reservations are recommended.

BONUS Field Trip: I highly recommend staying an extra day to visit The Tamástslikt Institute. Located 40 miles from downtown Walla Walla, this world-class museum is the only one on the Oregon Trail that tells the story of Western expansionism from a tribal point of view. The word tamástslikt means “interpreter” and while the museum looks back, it also connects this rich, storied history to our present day.

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