Attractive brick buildings line historic downtown Walla Walla Valley. Many of the shop fronts here have been converted to winery tasting rooms with outdoor seating.
Walk up and down Main street to sample wines, eat at restaurants, and enjoy Walla Walla Valley's small town atmosphere.
Southside District is home to several of the area's most elaborate estate wineries. If you're looking for that idyllic vineyard vibe, this is the spot. Some wineries offer food alongside their tasting menus and in-depth winery tours. It's pampering and educational.
Interestingly enough, Southside is lower in elevation than the rest of the valley which means it experiences more severe winter frosts. Thus, many of the wineries here bury a cane each winter as "insurance." A severe frost in Walla Walla Valley will kill a grape vine.
Westside is home to only a few wineries but they are some of the region's most historically important brands. Woodward Canyon Winery, L'Ecole 41, and Waterbrook Winery were all founded in the 1980s making them pioneers in the Walla Walla Valley wine industry.
Westside is the driest wine growing area within the Walla Walla Valley with only about 9 inches (229 mm) of rainfall per year. Thus, expect vineyards here to receive irrigation.
Heading out of town on Mill Creek road exposes you to some of the most stunning vineyard views in the Valley. This area is home to several award-wineries with prestigious bottlings and exclusive wine clubs.
Eastside District receives more rainfall than the other districts (up to 22 inches / 559mm) making it possible to dry farm on wet vintages.
The industrial zone outside the Walla Walla Valley airport has become a hotspot and proving ground for new and up-and-coming wineries. You'll find a casual, artistic, and innovative atmosphere here where creativity fuels winemaking.
While there aren't many wineries setting up shop in Oregon (likely due to different tax laws), some of the best vineyards in the region on the Oregon side.
For example, the entire cobblestone alluvial fan which defines The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater is in Oregon. And, one of the most industrious vineyard projects (initiated by Norm McKibben from Pepperbridge) climbs the hill on the southern side of the Valley.
Also, for you soil geeks, you'll find some of the most incredible basalt vineyard soils along the Northfork and Southfork river valleys in Oregon. Road trip anyone?
Plan Your Own Wine Tasting Adventure
Walla Walla Valley is laid-back but also packed with undiscovered gems. Here's what to check out.