Thursday, July 19, 2012

Walla Walla: again, it's just the best

It is time to praise Walla Walla wines again. And the wines from the nearby also-WA desert areas of Red Mountain, Tri-cities, and Yakima.

There is great wine from many places on our planet, but: most of California and France's wines that are high quality are more expensive; it can take some effort to taste through the mountains of Italian wines, to find the best ones (which are insanely good), and many of those are quite spendy. Some great wine areas are limited in what they can do (New Zealand, whose Sauv Blancs can be amazing, and cheap, and unique, but their Pinots, while cheaper than Oregon's, are overall just OK-to-interesting. Willamette Pinots are (generally speaking) too expensive for the quality presented and the product too variable. Andean Argentina comes to mind for amazing quality at low prices in the Malbecs, as do the old-vine Garnachas from Spain, but Washington rings the bell with a large number of successful grape varieties.

Desert Washington is slowly becoming better known, but that climate married with red vinifera and skilled winemakers results in better and better wines that (for the most part) are still fairly affordable. And at the top end, WA has wineries (Quilceda Creek, K Vintners, Cayuse) which routinely outscore 99.99% of the wines of the world, and they do it cheaper than most other top-end wine regions do.

Therefore, I reiterate: Desert Washington's wines just may be the world's best, for the price.

This photo is of Girasol Winery; the dry hills are very representative of W.Walla, which is near the Blue Mountains and thus has sufficient water available to quench the thirst of vines laboring in extreme heat and sun.


  1. Hi Kenton:

    As keen supporters of Washington wines' quality/value, we love getting the word out about our wines and especially getting wine fans to Walla Walla to taste our wines firsthand. As the owners of Girasol Vineyard & Inn, we grow Syrah, Sangiovese and Viognier on our vineyard, as well as we offer luxury stays at our small inn. We are literally surrounded by vineyards and there are 18 wineries within a two-mile radius of the inn. One correction though, Walla Walla receives 16-22 inches of rain a year, primarily due to our proximity to the Blues. Technically, we don't qualify as desert, although our summers are hot and dry as shown in the photo.. However, 20 miles in any direction, you are in desert conditions of only 6-8" of rainfall annually, which is what the primary and larger AVA, Columbia Valley, receives. It is that control of water, warm daytime temps, 25-30 degree drop at night and two extra hours of summer sunlight per day that allows us deliver on the quality Washington is becoming known for.

    Thanks for the posting. Come visit.

    Girasol Vineyard & Inn

  2. Thank you for that comment! I didn't know that W.Walla sits in an area with higher rainfall, whereas around it are deserts.