Walla Walla is definitely one of our favorite wine regions to visit – The people are friendly, the food is amazing, it’s not overly crowded, and of course, the wine is amazing!
One of our favorite ways to explore the wineries of Walla Walla is by foot. The Main Street downtown area is extremely walkable and there are nearly 40 wineries that you can get to by foot! That’s a lot of exploring!!! Fortunately, I’ve taken on the tough task of sampling most of them and today I’m going to share with you my “shortened” list of my 10 favorite downtown Walla Walla tasting rooms, listed in geographical order.
L’Ecole Winery resides in a historic 1915 schoolhouse in Walla Walla, Washington. Be sure to stop in for a wine tasting of their rich, deep red wines as well as some outstanding white wines like Chenin Blanc and Semillon.
Rasa Vineyards is located on the outskirts of Walla Walla, with a fantastic view of the Blue Mountains. Their tasting room is located in the actual wine production facility. So, when you’re tasting Rasa’s wines, you have the true feeling of being immersed in the wine production process. Steel tanks are located outside the tasting room, overlooking the vines growing onsite, and the inside of the production facility is filled with fragrant, oak barrels.
We first visited Rasa Vineyards about two years ago, when they shared their space with Mackey winery. Back then, there were two tasting stations set up for each producer. But today, Rasa fully occupies the space and has created a more private, warm, intimate tasting room with large glass windows that look out to the oak aging barrels and the production space.
Rasa Vineyards Wines
Rasa first won me over with their Composer Riesling – Dry with hints of summery fruits and just begging to be paired with some spicy Thai food. Riesling is currently the only white wine being produced by Rasa – After that, you’ll delve into their big, bold reds that Walla Walla is so well known for – Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot.
A behind the scenes tour of Walla Walla, Washington with Chef Andrae Bopp of Andrae’s Kitchen including his favorite wineries and local producers.
If you’ve been following along with me for a while, you may remember that I was lucky enough to take a cooking class with Chef Andrae Bopp in Walla Walla last winter as part of their annual February for Foodies event. I was drooling over every single dish that he prepared for us, and ever since then I’ve told every single person I’ve talked to that they need to stop by his restaurant if they’re in Walla Walla. Oh, and by the way, his restaurant is in a gas station…
Chef Andrae Bopp has a lot under his belt – He graduated with honors from the French Culinary Institute, has worked in some amazing restaurants – including Le Bernadin which carries a Michelin Three star rating, and brought the “Farm to Table” movement to Boise with his restaurant Andrae’s. After moving to Walla Walla in 2008, he also earned the title of Assistant Winemaker – working at Dusted Valley and becoming their Executive Chef as well.
In 2009, Andrae set off on his own venture, opening up his mobile food truck – Andrae’s Kitchen – with the intention of travelling to local vineyards and serving up his internationally-influenced food on the spot. And, a few years later, Andrae’s Kitchen took up a permanent residence inside the Cenex Convenience Store and Gas Station – Operating seven days a week, day and night. It’s a busy, bustling spot with a smoker out back that smells like heaven. It’s obviously his baby – He even designed it by hand…