Walla Walla Washington is known for onions, wine, and the state penitentiary is there. While I was visiting last year I found myself in an optimistic mood.
I was in Walla Walla for a dog treat show. Much like the tail end of the last year, Boomer had stayed home. As much as I do enjoy his company, him staying home does allow for a bit of freedom. I can do certain activities without him waiting for me in the car or dragging me around the places we go. Since Boomer was at home I decided to do some wine tasting in Walla Walla Washington.
I had been to Walla Walla a couple of times before and respected the fact that they set up their wine-centric town to help out fellow wine lovers. Although there are vineyards to visit, Walla Walla’s downtown offers up a way for you to get a taste of their local wineries without the fear of drinking and driving. You can literally stumble from tasting room to tasting room and then stumble back to your hotel room. It’s quite handy.
For those of you who have self-control or a designated driver, you can also visit the wineries located in all four directions around the town as well as near the airport. If you do venture out of town I highly recommend L’Ecole Winery. The winery is located in an adorable old schoolhouse. I am a huge fan of their Estate Syrah and their Cabernet Sauvignon is also delightful. You will also want to get your hands on the Semillon if you can. L’Ecole is located at 41 Lowden School Road and they are open daily 10 am to 5 pm and closed on major holidays. For any history buffs, this winery is located near the Whitman Massacre National Historic Site where you can learn about the Whitmans and see part of the original Oregon Trail. This site is dog-friendly, for anyone traveling with their best friends.
If you do not have self-control and want to stay downtown there are plenty of wineries to choose from. During my previous visits to Walla Walla, I stopped by Spring Valley Vineyard located at 18 North 2nd Ave. They are open seven days a week with various hours. Must tries are the Frederick Red Wine, a mix of Cabernet, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Also, give the Mule Skinner Merlot a try. Typically I am not a lover of Merlot but this one is not like your normal Merlot. It is mild in flavor pairing up with notes of clove and tobacco.
I also made a stop at Fort Walla Walla Cellars located at 127 east main street. They are open Thursday through Monday from 10 am to 5 pm. I enjoyed the Cabernet with flavors of plum and currant fruit and the Syrah with notes of blackberry and pepper.
On my most recent stop to Walla Walla, I tried out DaMa Winery located at 51 East Main Street. I worked my way through their tasting flight starting with the 2013 Chardonnay. When I was a child my mom used to drink Chardonnay and it led me to believe that I did not like wine because of the wine she was drinking. Her wine came in a white box so you can imagine what it was like. The DaMa Chardonnay will change your mind on Chardonnays however as there are no hints of butter or overly oaky, another flavor I am not a fan of. This wine would be tasty on a hot summer day.
I moved on to the reds where I always feel more comfortable starting with the Merlot. Berry flavors run through this wine and leave you with a favorable taste. The Cowgirl Cabernet had blackberry, cherry and plum notes and this wine is your go to for their red wines as it is found pleasing by most. The Cabernet Sauvignon steps it up a notch with bolder flavors of caramel and earthy notes. My last taste was the Damanation GSM and was by far the best in my opinion. This wine has a spicy mix of flavors along with raspberry to balance out the spice.
I also made a stop at Plumb Cellars, located at 39 East Main Street. I started out with a tasting of the Afternoon Delight, a white wine filled with spice and floral flavors. My next taste was the Plum Crazy, a blend with flavors of cherry. My last taste was the Estate Syrah. This wine was my favorite with orange blossom and clove flavors.
It was time for dinner so I moved slightly down the street to Olive Market Place and Cafe at 21 East Main Street. It was a rarity as I had not planned out where I was going to eat, but in all fairness to my OCD behavior, I had winged this last visit to Walla Walla.
Fortunately, everything had turned out favorable. I decided to give Olive Market Place and Cafe a try as it was heavily populated by patrons, which to me meant that it had good food. As I stood in line looking over the menu I had an overly friendly person in line behind me. After asking me if I had ever eaten there before and found that I had not, he proceeded to tell me “you’ve gotta get the prosciutto and grape pizza, it’s amazing”. And so I did. The pizza arrived on a thin crust covered in grapes, prosciutto, thyme, and chevre. If I could have found the person who had made this recommendation to me after devouring the pizza I would have hugged him. It was amazeballs!
I have also eaten at Whitehouse-Crawford Restaurant during a previous visit. This restaurant is upper scale and reservations are pretty much expected. I was able to snag a seat at the chef’s counter overlooking the kitchen without a reservation, however. The culinary delight spans over a small yet focused menu that changes periodically. Appetizers average in the teens USD and entrees are between mid 20’s to upper 40’s USD.
And for the overindulgers I recommend your next meal be either a late night snack or a mid-morning savior burger from Fast Eddy’s. Although there are no rollerskating girls to take your orders, this drive-in restaurant is well worth the stop. They will deliver the greasy spoon necessities to right your wrongs from the night before. I ordered a classic cheese burger and fries for a reasonable $7.40 USD. Fast Eddy’s is located at 600 West Main Street and open 10:30 am to 10:30 pm.
So are you excited to do some wine tasting in Walla Walla Washington?