We kicked off our annual girl’s weekend this year in style – a change from our usual Chelan weekend which we have done the past 8 years, we decided to change things up this year and ventured a little further east, tackling one of Washington State’s most acclaimed wine regions, Walla Walla.
Suggested by one of the ladies on our trip, we opted to fly over on Alaska Airlines instead of pounding the pavement for 5+ hours from Seattle. Boy was it worth it! The flight was a mere 45 minutes and arrived just in time for lunch and a little (a lot of) wine.
First stop (after picking up our rental car), Olive Marketplace & Cafe. We could tell right away this was going to suit our needs beautifully. The place was bustling and hip, always a good sign and the food we saw being delivered to tables was gorgeous. They prepare many of their baked goods in house and source locally for the remainder.
It’s walk up and deliver service. We decided to try a variety of menu items among us, ranging from pizzas to salads. Fortunately, one of our friends, Michelle, snagged a table outside under the overhang so we were able to sip our wine, I recommend the Viogner and take in the ambiance of Main Street. Soon our food made it’s way to our table.
Everything was outstanding. We enjoyed the Beet Salad and Chicken Salad then the Prosciutto and Grape (my favorite), Fig and Brie and Mediterranean Pizzas.
After lunch, we headed down the street to Browne for a little more wine tasting (why not?). We had wonderful service and a few of us tried the wine flight. I particularly enjoyed the Cabernet Sauvignon. The ambiance here was great and they offer live music on the plaza in the evenings.
Why not keep things going, right? We ventured across the street to Mark Ryan and enjoyed a flight there as well. The vibe is chic and modern, quite different from a few of the other spots thus far. Must Try: Dissident (yes, there is a Pearl Jam correlation, I asked).
Knowing we didn’t want to cook that night, we had made reservations in advance for Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen which had come highly recommended by several people. I did not disappoint. We ordered family-style so that we would be able to enjoy a variety of things. The food was incredible, the service was superb. We would go back to this place in a heartbeat. Must try: Moroccan Fried Chicken.
After dinner we ventured to our not-so-humble abode for the weekend (we had a DD so no worries to those concerned). We choose to stay in a beautiful ranch-style home about 10 minutes drive outside of town. The place was perfect. Fire pit, pool and four bedroom/four bathrooms easily accommodated our group of 7 ladies and our hostess, Kate was very friendly and helpful.
The next morning, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and coffee at the house and got ready from a full day of wine tasting. We hired Imbibe Wine Tours to escort us around town.
First stop, Bergevin Lane Vineyards . We were treated to a private tour of the facility and got a first hand taste of some of their reds straight out of the barrel. On the tour we learned so much about the wine making process, things you don’t normally see when just visiting a tasting room. Thank you, Bergevin Wines for your amazing tour and amazing wine. WSU cougar fans, they are the producers of the WSU III. Must try: Merlot and Viogner. The Calico Red is also a great drinker.
Next up we stopped at Gramercy Cellars. The tasting room had a really great vibe; large overstuffed leather sofas, fresh flowers and delightful staff. A few of the wines we tasted; Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Deuce and Tempranillo. Favorites included the Cabernet and the Deuce.
At the point we were getting hungry and ready to dive into the beautiful picnic lunch that we had prepared for ourselves. Our driver recommended a’Maurice as they have a beautiful picnic area where we could sit outside and enjoy our lunch. And bonus, we were cared for and educated on their beautiful wines outside at our picnic table. These wines were delicious, atop a little hill and among rows of vines, the setting was spectacular. Must try: 2013 Estate Syrah “Fred”.
After we were sufficiently dined and wined, we ventured to our next stop, a little place we had not heard about, Somme des Parties and when I say little…I mean little…
This winery only processes three wines and currently are; 2014 Syrah, 2014 Red Blend and 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon. All delicious, all distinct in flavor. Be sure to check out this little gem.
Our final stop on the tour, Doubleback was much anticipated as it belongs to fellow WSU Cougars, Drew and Maura Bledsoe. We had heard wonderful things about their wines and boy they didn’t disappoint. Smooth and rich, the wines went down like silk. Be sure to bring your pocket book as these wines are not cheap but perfect for a special occasion or for the wine collector.
Our wine tour ended with Imbibe after this stop and we had some time to kill before dinner, so we opted to check out the local scene downtown Walla Walla once again. This time, after wandering around we decided to check out Charles Smith for a little pre-dinner snack and glass of wine (some of us at this point were wined out and needed straight up water, I was one of those people).
The ladies who indulged at Charles Smith enjoyed a lovely rose and delicious Macrona Almonds and charcuterie.
We had gotten several recommendations to try 124 Public House and specifically the truffle fries, they did not disappoint…3 orders later. Ordered, was a variety of burgers, salads and pizzas.
After dinner we wandered down the street to Bright’s Candy Store for a little after dinner treat. They offer a variety of chocolates, candies and gifts. The caramels were to die for.
Finally, it was time to retreat to our home. Walla Walla has recently started Uber service so that was a welcomed surprise. Just be aware that there are only a handful of drivers so wait times can be a bit long.
On our last day, Sunday our flight didn’t leave until 7pm, so we had the entire day to bum around. We enjoyed quite time at the house in the morning, sitting by the pool as true Seattlites in 65 degrees F.
Later we packed up and ventured out to family property where one of our friend’s family owns property in Lowden, conveniently located next door to L’Ecole Winery, one of the region’s most well known. It was a unique experience to see the farm where Morgann’s mom and grandfather were raised.
The wines at L’Ecole were delicious and the staff very friendly and attentive.
Our very last stop was at Waterbrook, a very large producer with beautiful grounds and they served food (!), which is uncommon at most stops. We figured it would be a good idea to grab an early dinner before heading to the airport.
We ended the trip with an amazing shot on the Adirondack chairs in front of the Waterbrook Tasting Room. Until next year! Location TBD.