39 Walla Walla Wineries You Must Visit

Walla Walla Wineries
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A guide to the best Walla Walla Washington Tasting Rooms & Wineries
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If you’re considering a wine tasting trip to the Walla Walla Valley wine region, you can find all the information you need to plan right here. We’ve been wine tasting in Walla Walla for many years and have visited nearly all of the wineries in Walla Walla.

A wine-tasting trip to Walla Walla is both rewarding and educational for wine lovers. It’s a premiere wine growing region in the Columbia Valley, and some really great and high-quality wines are being produced there.

The Walla Walla Valley is one of the top producing AVAs in the state of Washington. It extends into the northeastern part of Oregon and encompasses 486 hectares of planted vines.

You’ll want to spend at least two days in the Walla Walla wine region, to get a good taste of the grapes and the terroir of this region. There are dozens of tasting rooms and wineries to visit. Some are close together, and some are spread across the region.

We’ve included 39 total wineries in our list. There are just so many favorites. Don’t worry though, we’ve narrowed it down even further in each of the areas by including a * next to the ones you absolutely can’t miss.

So Many Walla Walla Wineries, So Little Time

If you’re a wine lover, and you haven’t heard of this area, take note. Not only is there an abundance of amazing wine in Walla Walla, it’s a quaint small town that exudes charm. There are so many wineries in Walla Walla that the region is split into five different areas.

The five regions are Westside, Eastside, Southside, Downtown and Oregon wineries. Each of these separate areas holds more wine tasting possibilities than you could do in a while week’s worth of tasting. We’re talking more than 100 wineries in total. Some areas have over 20 wineries you can visit.

Since this is obviously too many wineries to get to in a weekend, you’re going to have to pick and choose. We recommend choosing one or two areas of town and focusing your attention there. You could also jump from area to area looking for specific varietals you like, but the distance in between will be greater.

However you choose to do it, you’ll surely be overwhelmed. That’s why we’ve created a list of our favorites, to help you decide. In each section, look for the * to indicate which wineries you really shouldn’t miss.

How to Do Wine Tasting in Walla Walla

Before we get into the best wineries to visit, we want to give you a bit of a primer on the area. Walla Walla is a small city, but there’s a lot of ground to cover.

You will need a car to get around to the more distant wineries. If you don’t want to drive, you can go on a guided tour (either group or private), or call the local taxi service and try to arrange rides. If you don’t want to do either of those, then I suggest sticking mostly with the downtown wineries. If you stay nearby (I highly recommend staying at the Marcus Whitman Hotel), you’ll be able to walk to many Walla Walla wine tasting rooms.

You don’t generally need to make appointments to do wine tasting in Walla Walla, with a few exceptions. It’s generally wise to take a look at the winery’s website to make sure it’s open for tasting on the day you wish to visit. In some areas, the wineries are close enough together that if one is closed, it’s not a big deal.

Westside Wineries

Some of Washington’s most sought-after cult wines come from the Westside Wineries. Back in the 1980s, three popular wineries started it all for Walla Walla. These wineries are Leonetti Cellars, Woodward Canyon and L’Ecole No. 41. Today, these wineries still have some of the area’s best wines.

The westside stretches quite a ways out of town on Highway 12. If you’re going to make the trek out there, you’ll want to stop at a few of the wineries out that way. Most of these wineries are open 10am-5pm every day except major holidays.

Here are the wineries you should visit on the westside.

  • *Woodward Canyon – Open since 1981, producing premium, age-worthy, award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay
  • *L’Ecole No. 41 – Located in an old school house, L’Ecole produces some of the regions best wines from prestigious vineyards.
  • Waterbrook Winery – With more than eighty 90+ scores and 100 Best Buy wines, Waterbrook has some of our favorite every day wines and a lovely tasting room.
  • Couger Crest – Award-winning wines from some of the best vineyards in Walla Walla. 
  • *Long Shadows Vintners – A conglomeration of seven of the world’s most acclaimed winemakers from around the world who have come together to produce ultra-premium wine in Washington.
  • Three Rivers Winery – Award wining ultra-premium wines in a beautiful setting.

Woodward Canyon is the furthest out of town. We suggest starting there and working your way back into town. It’s a 15-minute drive to Woodward Canyon, and 30 miles round trip. 

Eastside Wineries

Most of the Eastside wineries are located near the airport in WWII-era military buildings that have been converted to warehouse space. The airport wineries now number in the dozens, with even a brewery and a distillery thrown in.

If you can, be sure to visit the first commercial winery in Walla Walla, Leonetti Cellars, opened in 1977. We also highly recommend visiting the Wine Incubator. An innovative way of helping fledgling wineries get started, the Incubator acts as a launching point for new wineries to get their feet on the ground, until they reach the 6-year mark.

Here are the wineries you should visit on the eastside.

  • Dunham Cellars – Great selection of wines that are palate pleasing for everyone.
  • *aMaurice – Beautiful location at the base of the Blue Mountains, the wine is established and very good.
  • *Walla Walla Vintners – The historic Walla Walla Vintners offers wine tastings from their beautiful vineyard estate.
  • College Cellars – College Cellars is a teaching winery located at the Center for Enology and Viticulture on the campus of Walla Walla Community College. The wine produced there is fantastic and it’s always good to support the students. The tasting room is closed the first part of the week.
  • K Vintners – Opened by Charles Smith in 2001, the wine style featured here is small-lot, single-vineyard varietals.
  • Tranche – Beautiful grounds and building plus fantastic wine

Downtown Wineries

spring valley tasting room

Most people stay at a hotel downtown when they visit Walla Walla. There are a number of good hotels, the best of which is The Marcus Whitman Hotel, located right in the middle of town. If your main pursuit is wine tasting, it’s one of the best places to stay.

Here are the tasting rooms you should visit downtown.

Just below the hotel is a handful of tasting rooms that are worth a visit.

  • Tero Estates
  • Locati Cellars
  • Mansion Creek Cellars

Across the street from the hotel on N. 2nd Ave is another stretch of winery tasting rooms you should visit:

  • Maison Bleue
  • *Spring Valley Vineyards
  • Trust Cellars
  • g. Cuneo

While you could spend all of your tasting time just on that one street,  you’d be remiss not to venture out to other wineries downtown.

  • *Charles Smith
  • *Otis Kenyon
  • *Mark Ryan
  • *Browne Family Vineyards
  • Henry Earl Estate Wines

Where to Eat in Downtown Walla Walla

Another thing to note about Downtown is that this is where you’ll find pretty much the only food options in the tasting areas. Sometimes a food truck or two will show up in the other areas, but the majority of the restaurants are downtown.

We love to go to Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen for lunch in the middle of our tasting spree for a couple of their delicious tapas. They don’t open until 2pm on the weekends, but it’s well worth the wait.

Other great options for lunch are Brasserie Four, Graze and Public House 124. My sister would want me to tell you about Bacon & Eggs too, so check that out for breakfast or lunch as well. She loves it.

For dinner, you can’t beat Whitehouse-Crawford, in the remodeled 1904 sawmill just a block from The Marcus Whitman. They have a small menu, but that won’t matter because you’ll go there for the wine-paired tasting menu.

Southside Wineries

As you’re headed out of town toward the Oregon border, you’ll come upon the Southside Wineries. This is my favorite area in Walla Walla for wineries. It’s a bit more of a countryside feeling and the tasting rooms are among the vineyards.

Generally, on the southside, the wine production happens on-site, as opposed to the downtown wineries, so it feels more like an authentic winery experience.

Our favorites in this area are too many to name. Just about anywhere you stop for wine tasting is going to have great wines. If I had to pick only seven (which is the max you can taste through in a day if you’re sharing a glass), I would go to the following southside wineries. (Okay, make it eight!)

  • Tertulia
  • *Northstar – World-class merlot. Absolutely must visit!
  • *Pepperbridge – Elegent, highly prestigious wine.
  • *Balboa
  • Saviah
  • *Sleight of Hand Cellars
  • Revelry Vintners
  • Amavi Cellars – I love their Syrah. The tasting is small, but wildly good
  • *Basil Cellars

Northstar has the best Merlot around. Their Merlots are consistently top rated (over 90+) from Wine Spectator and The Wine Advocate. We like to taste the Walla Walla Valley and the Columbia Valley Merlots side by side to truly see the uniqueness of the Walla Walla Valley grapes. At Northstar, you can also participate in a hands-on blending where you’ll make your own blend to take home.

I highly recommend a stop at Basel Cellars. They sometimes close down for private events, but when they’re open, you’ll want to stop by for a look at the castle-like house that was once a hidden legend in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, where the winery is located.

Oregon Wineries

Basel Cellars Estate Winery
Basel Cellars Estate Winery

There aren’t a lot of wineries on the Oregon side of the border, but now that The Rocks AVA has started gaining notoriety, there are more than ever. Some of the Oregon wineries are located just across the border from the Southside Wineries, and you may not even know you’re actually in Oregon. 

Here are the wineries to visit in Oregon.

If you venture a little farther past Basel Cellars into Milton-Freewater, you’ll find Zerba Cellars located along the highway. Watermill Winery and Blue Mountain Cider Company are in the town center. And Sevel Hills and Rotie Cellars are just a bit further into the countryside.

CONCLUSION

The abundance of Walla Walla wineries is astounding. I guarantee you won’t run out of great places to taste. We go back at least once or twice a year and rarely taste at the same places twice (except our favorites, of course!). If you’re into wine, even a little bit, you’ll love the Walla Walla wineries. Give it a try.

39 Walla Walla Wineries You Must Visit

41 thoughts on “39 Walla Walla Wineries You Must Visit

  1. Rob Taylor says:

    What a great breakdown of the area. Despite spending years working with wine I’m a bad wine-tour person. This was really helpful. And Milton-Freewater? Really? I feel like I’ve only stopped there to grab something at the grocery store on the way from from the Rodeo. Good to know…

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Rob, I know it’s sounds crazy. I never thought Milton-Freewater would be anything but a blip on the map. Now look at it!

  2. Karilyn says:

    I have to admit first I’m not a drinker, so excuse my wowness when I say I didn’t realize Washington had all these wineries! I live in CA, so of course you know that is all I hear about. I am always on the lookout for some cool new wines to gift to people – I will check to see if some of these are at our local wine shop!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      I’m sure a lot of people don’t realize how many wineries there are now in Washington. It’s a not-too-distant runner up to California now.

  3. Arnie says:

    We live not too far away in Yakima, and while we have visited Walla Walla, had no idea there were so many wineries!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      We love driving down from Seattle through Yakima and Prosser. There are so many great wineries along the way. You have all the hops in Yakima!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      That’s sad, Tiana! I’m sad for you. Maybe we could get your a new palate. A palate transplant. πŸ™‚

  4. Local Nomads says:

    I’m not going to lie, you definitely got me with the looney toons comment. The very first thing I thought of when I saw Walla Walla was Daffy Duck… Clearly there’s much more to this lovely place than fowl traveling salesmen.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Isn’t that great?! I’ve always loved that reference. Walla Walla was also referenced on Wheel of Fortune once.

  5. Winederlusting says:

    Ahhhhh! So cool! I didn’t know Walla Walla was also home to ACME! Before I even got into the wineries I was already sold. Being a wine enthusiast myself, I’m familiar with the area. Northstar does indeed produce one of the most delicious Merlot’s in the area, good idea to compare them to Columbia Valley. I was not aware you could craft your own blends at the winery though! Given the number of wineries, I’ll definitely need to plan a week long trip to the area. I refuse to just do a few if I’m traveling all the way to the Pacific Northwest!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      If you’re going for a longer time, I would suggest driving up through Tri-Cities, Prosser, Zillah and Yakima too. There are some great wineries the entire way up! You could easily spend a whole week touring wineries.

  6. Heather Cole says:

    I never even knew there were wineries in the area, let alone the names! We’ve sample several wineries in South Africa, and I thought I knew what a winery looked like, but these are so different, and cute! I love the idea of the wine incubator, such a nice idea to help the newbies on their way. And so kind of you to do all this ‘research πŸ™‚

    • Laura Lynch says:

      We also tasted at wineries in South Africa and I have to say I prefer that experience over most of the wine tasting in the States. The estates we visited in South Africa were so amazing and hospitality was their top priority.

  7. Nika - nextstopabroad.com says:

    what a great post! until this moment I always thought Washinghton area is all about busy working people πŸ˜‰ just kidding ofc..
    Although I am avoiding alcohol heavily and drink the vine occasionally only, now I really feel like getting myself a glass of white wine πŸ™‚ Luckily, I have the Xmas markets right across the street πŸ™‚ Greetings from clod Czech Republic!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Anita, we did some wine tasting on the North Island a few years ago and loved the experience. I’d like to try other areas in NZ too!

  8. Marta says:

    I didn’t know this was a wine region, it’s great to learn about it! I like wine, but growing up in Italy I confess I was a wine snob for a very long time and wouldn’t really give a chance to anything non European ? Now I still love Italian wine but always visit wine regions when abroad and found some great wines! Walla walla sounds a great stop: between the wine and the looney toons connection, sounds fun for my kids too!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      We get that way a little with Washington wine too. We have to sometimes force ourselves to branch out. We’re going to Italy in March to explore some of the wineries there!

  9. anna says:

    The looney toons reference definitely made me laugh! I never knew there were so many wineries in that area. I absolutely love wine so the idea of touring around visiting different wineries is high up on my ideal things to do list!

  10. Patricia says:

    Trying local wineries is one of the best ways to explore a place (at least according to me) and your guide of Walla Walla loos very tempting. Will think about it once I’m around! πŸ™‚

    • Laura Lynch says:

      We love to stop by wineries whenever we find one exactly for that reason. It’s just another aspect of a place to explore!

  11. Charli says:

    Cult wines are not something I’ve come across before, but the boutique feel of the vineyards you’ve mentioned sounds fab. I have to admit I’m someone who chooses their wine based on label design alone! A marketer’s dream! Walla Walla sounds like a great region to whet your appetite for wine, thanks for the virtual tour.

  12. Vanessa says:

    This looks like an amazing wine destination. And I love the connection to Looney Tunes – I wonder if anyone has thought about doing an animation inspired wine label?

    • Laura Lynch says:

      That’s actually a really great idea! I haven’t seen any. It’s strangely a little-known factoid, even in Walla Walla.

  13. Megan | Traveling Nine to Fiver says:

    I’ve spent a lot of time exploring California’s wine country and it would be great to get up to Washington and see the difference of what they are doing up there. Thanks for the tips.

  14. Alli says:

    You’re right, I haven’t heard of Walla Walla Wineries – most likely because I am not well versed in the area πŸ™‚ But it all does sound right up my alley and something like I would just love to experience. I love that you visited wineries in the winter time too, judging by the photos πŸ™‚ I love doing that here in the Niagara region. So cozy!!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      We tend to go there in winter most often because my parents live there and we’re visiting for the holidays. πŸ™‚

  15. Jenna says:

    I’ve never heard of Walla Walla, but now I want to visit! I can’t believe how many wineries are in the area–they all look fantastic! Fun to see a brewery in the mix as well πŸ™‚ Sweet Valley Winery looks adorable–I love the style of the shop!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Sweet Valley is a great winery. You’d like the downtown area, if that’s your style of shop. It’s packed with tasting rooms!

  16. antonette says:

    Somehow I didn’t think of Washtington and Oregon as great wine countries. I’m heading over there next year and will definitely keep this in mind when planning!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      You will be really surprised then, Antonette, when you get here! The Columbia Valley and the Willamette valley are packed with wineries and vineyards.

  17. Eva says:

    I’m a wine lover, but I haven’t heard of this area. I already want to go to this place.
    I’m sure this is a real paradise for lovers of good wine.
    Walla, Walla Wineries… See you soon!!!
    Thank you, dear author)

    • Laura Lynch says:

      I grew up in the Walla Walla area, so I’m always happy to introduce others to it. It’s a very nice wine region.

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