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.
Garrison Creek Cellars produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from only the most select grapes from the Les Collines Vineyard in Walla Walla, Washington.
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.
Tucked into Walla Walla’s Airport region is Adamant Cellars. Pouring Bordeaux blends, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon & bubbles!
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…
This is where our adventure began.
The boys started the day off with golf at Wine Valley Golf Club. So for us girls, that meant time for breakfast and shopping … We took a stroll into town for the farmer’s market, browsed the local shops along Main Street, and spent this day tasting entirely in downtown Walla Walla.
Walla Walla Bread Company is a great spot to stop by for brunch – Not only do they have wonderful baked goods (perfect for toting along on a day of wine tasting), but they also have dishes like Breakfast Calzones, Corned Beef Hash and Sourdough Pancakes. This lively spot is a great first stop of the day. Be sure not to miss their Bloody Mary’s made with saké!
Our first wine visit of the day was to Doubleback. Doubleback is owned by former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe and you know what? He knows how to make wine! Offering only a Cabernet Sauvignon, Stolen Horse Syrah and Family Red – They were all excellent! You do need a tasting reservation, so be sure to call ahead. Before visiting, I had pictured this tasting room to be a bit uppity based on that fact, and the fact that it’s owned by a football player – But, the opposite was true. The friendliness of Walla Walla was evident, as it has been every place we’ve visited on our trip, and we were greeted with an beautiful cheese & fig plate to accompany our tastings. Be sure to check out the awesome walls which, from far away look like stone, but are really made from the slats of old wine barrels.
Charles Smith & K Vintners were next on the list. You may recognize their bold black and white graphic labels. The Charles Smith brand is widely available – Eve Chardonnay, Kung Fu Girl Riesling, The Velvet Devil Merlot and Boom Boom! Syrah are produced under their label. K Vintners wines carry over the same black and white theme, yet are less widely produced – We grabbed a couple bottles of The Boy Grenache to take home with us. Their tasting room is spacious and has garage door style windows which open wide in the summer so that you can enjoy the streetside patio.
By now, the boys were famished from a long day of golf – We headed to Brasserie Four for some bubbles, brews, AMAZING pommes-frites and artisan pizza. The summers are amazing in Walla Walla and, because we went for a late lunch, we we able to get a spot on the patio and do some Main Street people watching while enjoying our meal.