20 thoughts about the future of Walla Walla Wine

“I am always happy to see change. Without change, things do not progress. Nothing that is succeeding stays stagnant.”

— Brooke Delmas Robertson, SJR Vineyard

In this installment of The Walla Walla Way, we’re sharing words from 19 of our wineries about what they believe the future has in store for our region. There are as many perspectives as there are people, and that is what makes a community real: conversation. We’d love to know your thoughts, as well as what you think about ours. What are your hopes for our shared future?


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1. “I am always happy to see change. Without change, things do not progress. Nothing that is succeeding stays stagnant. I believe Walla Walla is growing, and that the quality of wines are improving by leaps and bounds. New ideas coming in, and taking us all forward. Walla Walla is being put on the global map. We are all going to need to think big.” — Brooke Delmas Robertson, SJR Vineyard

2. “I hope together our Valley can figure it out and how to create the next wave of momentum to carry us into the future.” — Dusted Valley

3. “We have immense respect for the wineries, growers, and community that has come before us, and we look forward to making it an even better future. To be recognized as one of the best wine regions in the world, we need to keep challenging ourselves and not be afraid to continue our journey of wine excellence together. We hope our sense of pride, integrity and community never changes and we look forward to more investment, amenities, and convenience for our guests in the future.” — Walla Walla Vintners

4. “I hope that we can stay true to small local producers and not let the big corporations come in, consolidate, and make a field blend of all our wines. Support small local business!” — Eternal Wines

5. “As we celebrate our 40th anniversary in 2023, we see this as an acknowledgment of the foundation of quality we have built to this point. This is a tremendous honor, not only for L’Ecole but also for Washington State and the Walla Walla Valley. As a winery and region, we are still relatively young, and it is exciting to see the success to date and the potential of what the future holds.” — L’Ecole No 41

6. “We hope the Walla Walla Valley continues to be a dynamic area for winemakers to pursue their dreams and make their mark on the world of wine. In the future, we hope to continually honor our history as an agricultural region and to live the entrepreneurial spirit that makes us who we are.” — FIGGINS

7. “We are committed to creating a more sustainable present and future in which we consider our social and environmental impact – thinking about people and the planet. We believe it is vital to pay employees a fair wage. We value and welcome people of all backgrounds and identities into our businesses. And we actively support organizations that make lasting, positive changes in our community. We are committed to using organic practices in our vineyard and partnering with other like-minded growers. This means we do not use pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides and give nourishment back to the earth. We work toward reducing our use of natural resources and seek products that can be recycled or repurposed. For our collective future, we do our best to make informed decisions that will benefit our team, our customers, our communities, and the planet.” — Foundry Vineyards

8. “To tap into the full potential of our lands to produce authentically representative, always memorable and ever-evolving American luxury wines.” Bledsoe Wine Estates

9. “Our hope is that WW Valley stays collaborative and creative in our efforts to be known world-wide and becomes THE wine destination for wine lovers all over the world.” — Smoky Rose Cellars

10. “We hope that the collaboration and support that has been cultivated by the wine industry founders continues. ‘The place so nice they named it twice.’ We hope that the valley can expand their view of ‘responsibility’ and ‘be kind to your neighbors’ by remembering that over-service hurts everyone. Each season in the valley has its own special draw, including winter. Would love to see those themes explored.” — Pepper Bridge Winery

11. “A bigger, broader, more inclusive industry in people, wine/agricultural style and experiences. This comes with wineries having aspirations to be a part of the industry beyond WW/WA ST and give wine enthusiasts everywhere a reason to visit.” — Woodward Canyon

12. “Our hope for the future is to see more tourism. More restaurants added to the outskirts of town, resorts-higher end places to stay. I would like the small town friendly feel to stay. Walla Walla is a special place and everyone who visits feels the same. There is a lot of potential for Walla Walla to grow.” — Va Piano

13. “I hope Walla Walla can continue to embrace it’s past while creating an experience for visitors who are looking for a more relaxed and sophisticated experience.” — Floating Balance Cellars

14. “We hope that younger generations enjoy quality wines from Walla Walla. It would be nice to see Walla Walla recognized in other cities and countries around the world.” — Seven Hills Winery

15. “My hope is that the quality of the wine and reputation of the area continues to grow. I think the last 20-30 years of growers and vintners has created an amazing base for even more exciting projects to come to town and start to blossom. I hope that it still stays that “small town feel” though as time goes along, that’s what makes it still special in my mind.” — Dossier Wine

16. “We hope that we can continue to draw wine lovers to the valley, and that we can keep working together as a community to show those visitors the uniform high quality of our wines, along with a diversity of style and characteristics.” — Echolands Winery

17. “Walla Walla is slowly changing to a more corporate and experiential wine experience on par with Napa Valley tasting room marketing. This is a natural evolution and I hope there will still be room for middle class, family-owned wineries to succeed and thrive. I would also love to see Walla Walla become as sustainable and organic leaning in grape growing and wine production as possible in the future.” — Isenhower Cellars

18. “I hope we never loose our feeling of community.” — Lagana Cellars

19. “I expect to see the wine industry become a more accessible and inclusive space for people of diverse backgrounds to enjoy and work in wine. I think at times we get caught up on the dollar price of wine and think the accessibility discussion ends there; but what we forget is that everyone enjoys a little luxury from time to time, and any person who is ready and excited to partake in a wine-tasting experience and take home some wine should feel the same level of welcome. For what I hope will remain the same: I hope our culture of collaboration and cheering each other on will continue to be passed down to next generations in Walla Walla Wine. As Gary Figgins said, in our valley, “you push the person ahead of you while pulling the one behind you”, and I think it shows in our wine quality in both good and tough vintages. There are many beautiful and friendly places to make wine in the world, but our level of dedication to one another in Walla Walla is something newcomers notice right away – it’s our magic.” — Devyani Gupta, Valdemar Estates

20. “Four things: enhanced focus on the health of our ecosystem in the Walla Walla Valley; universal adoption of low-impact, biodynamic farming methods as we collectively adapt to a changing climate; to empower more young, diverse people to seek a career in agriculture and wine; and to create our greatest-ever wine! With every vintage, we strive to make memorable wines that capture nature in the vineyard.— Christophe Baron, Cayuse

The future of Walla Walla Wine: 1