Spring has (finally!) sprung and it’s time to plan your wine-tasting trip to the lovely Walla Walla Valley (named the Best Wine Region in America for the third year in a row by USA Today)! I consider myself very lucky to live in this very special place and I’m so honored to be your (virtual) tour guide!
209 E Alder St, Walla Walla, WA 99362
9:00 – 10:00 am: Breakfast at Maple Counter
Start the first day of your vacay with breakfast at family-owned Maple Counter. It’s always a tough call between pancakes or one of the omelets here for me. The portions are big, so come hungry!
10:00am – 11:00am: Explore Downtown Walla Walla
Grab your favorite beverage from Carte Coffee (mine is an iced London Fog with Oat Milk) and walk the darling downtown. I highly recommend shopping at 35th & Butter, Out West Trading Co, and Studio Opal Boutique (pictured below). If you’re a food lover like me, you’ll also want to hit up D’Olivo for some olive oil tasting and TMACS Epicurean Kitchen for all of their goodies!
Studio Opal Boutique is beautifully curated and has a wonderful selection of women’s and men’s wear.
11:00am – 12:15pm: Wine Taste at Echolands Winery
7 W Alder St, Walla Walla, WA 99362
Drink wine at the newest tasting room in downtown Walla Walla – the very trendy Echolands. Echolands sources 100% of their grapes from Walla Walla, and is best known for their elegant Bourdeaux blends and whole cluster Syrahs. Reservations can be made here.
12:30 – 2:00 pm: Lunch at Brasserie Four
4 E Main St, Walla Walla, WA 99362
This delightful French bistro sits at the corner of Main and 2nd Avenue and is an absolute must-visit. I’m here at least once a week for the fresh oysters, imported cheeses, and lots of sparkling wine. The Steak Frites with veal and black pepper cream sauce is one of my all-time favorite things to order anywhere (but you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu).
Left: Cheese + Charcuterie // Right: Moules Frites + Vichyssoise
2:00 – 3:00 pm: Visit Frog Hollow Farm
174 Frog Hollow Rd, Walla Walla, WA 99362
It’s impossible not to love darling Frog Hollow Farm! Shop the farm store filled with all kinds of fresh produce and local food products, pick-your-own flowers and veggies (at certain times of year), and say hello to the goats and pigs (that sometimes have babies)! This is a great activity for a family (but to be perfectly honest, I visit a lot on my own or with my pup and enjoy it immensely).
3:15 – 4:30 pm: Tasting at Grosgrain Vineyards
2158 Half Acre Ln, Walla Walla, WA 99362
Expect Palm Springs vibes and lesser-known grape varietals at trendy Grosgrain Vineyards. They also make some delicious sparkling wines (one of many reasons that we are members of their wine club). The outdoor patio and tasting room are both stunning, and there’s also an Airbnb on-site that you can rent out for your visit (but be aware – it books out well in advance)!
6:00 pm: Dinner at Passatempo Taverna
215 W Main St, Walla Walla, WA 99362
I just can’t stop going to Passatempo. It is, in my humble opinion, quite close to (if not the) “perfect restaurant”. House-made pasta, fabulous pizzas (my favorite is the spicy pepperoni), and a drool-worthy antipasti selection grace the menu at this popular eatery that is loved by locals and tourists alike. You won’t find a better deal in town than their $14 Cacio e Pepe (pictured above). Do yourself a favor and order the housemade gelato at the end of your meal.
8:00 – 9:00 am: Breakfast at Walla Walla Bread Company
201 E Main St, Walla Walla, WA 99362
The pastry case here is a work of art that changes daily and there is always a line out the door when they open (don’t worry; it’s absolutely worth the wait). The avocado tartine and red velvet croissant (pictured below) are two of my favorite things on the menu, along with their selection of fresh-pressed juices. They also have a killer Banh Mi sandwich should you find yourself here at lunch.
9:30 – 10:30 am: Walk to and through Pioneer Park + The Aviary
Grab a coffee to go and take the 15-minute walk to Pioneer Park. Explore the beautiful grounds and the Aviary on site that houses a plethora of different birds and wildlife. Don’t forget your camera!
940 E Alder St, Walla Walla, WA 99362
10:45 am – 12:00 pm: Wine Tasting at Balboa Winery
4169 Peppers Bridge Rd, Walla Walla, WA 99362
Balboa Winery was founded in 2005 with the belief that the Walla Walla Valley is capable of producing the finest wines in the world. They have an incredibly small production, and source 95% of their grapes from their estate vineyards. Do a full tasting or go by the glass here if you prefer; I highly recommend the pink bubbles (but lookout, they’re hard to stop drinking – at least they are for me)!
12:15 – 1:45 pm: Lunch + Wine at Valdemar Estates
3808 Rolling Hills Lane, Walla Walla, WA 99362
This spectacular tasting room will take your breath away (and so will the wines). The family is fifth-generation Rioja producers and wine growers from Spain. Here you can taste their Spanish wines alongside their Washington wines (so fun!), and order delicious Spanish tapas. The plates are delicious but small; I recommend each person get three things and share with the table (don’t miss the Iberico ham)!
2:00 – 3:30 pm: Wine Tasting at Rotie Cellars
84328 Trumbull Ln, Milton-Freewater, OR 97862
Head out to the Rocks District to visit the ever-impressive Rotie Cellars Tasting Room. Sipping wine as you sit perched above the vineyards with the Blue Mountains in the background is an almost transcendental experience. Rotie specializes in traditional Rhône blends, with many of their grapes being sourced from the Rocks District (if you came to drink Rocks fruit, you can’t miss this stop)! Reservations here are highly encouraged and you can make yours here.
6:00 pm: Dinner at Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen
After a little break and refresh at your hotel, it’s time for dinner and you will love Saffron. Chef Chris Ainsworth has been a James Beard semi-finalist several times in the Best Chef Northwest category (among his and the restaurant’s many accolades). The menu changes seasonally but is always quite delicious. Expect creative takes on classic Spanish & Italian tapas, pizza and pasta. You’ll need to call them to make a reservation (which is highly recommended)
330 W Main St, Walla Walla, WA 99362
10 – 11:30 am: Brunch at AKs Mercado
21 E Main St, Walla Walla, WA 99362
Sundays are for brunch at AK’s Mercado! Think breakfast tacos, slamming eggs benedict, house-baked biscuits and gravy, and chilaquiles. Wash it down with a Bloody Mary, some bubbles, or a boozy slushie (if you dare this early in the day)! AK’s also offers beignets (on Sundays only!) and you don’t want to miss those!
11:30 – 1:00pm: Hike around the Mill Creek Trail and Bennington Lake Recreation Area
Stunning views and what feels like endless amounts of trails are waiting to be explored at Bennington Lake! Many of the trails allow dogs off-leash if you’re with a pup (I visit here with mine often). You can get more information, maps, etc on the area here.
1:15 – 4:00pm: Wine + Beer Taste in the Airport District
Wine or beer taste the rest of the afternoon away in the Airport District. Here you’ll find some of my favorite smaller wineries like itä wines (pictured below with winemaker/owner Kelsey lbro Itämeri) and Smak Wines (who only produces rose). If you’re looking to try some local beer, you can also hit up local favorites Quirk Brewing and Burwood Brewing.
Left: Quirk Brewing // Right: Burwood Brewing
5:30 – 6:00pm: Cocktails at The Kinglet
It’s time for pre-dinner canapes and cocktails at the incredible new Kinglet restaurant in downtown Walla Walla. The space is captivating and the menu is unlike anything else in town. (I also highly recommend dinner here if you have the time). They’ve got some incredibly thoughtful (and aesthetically pleasing) cocktails to sip on while you order small bites of their Canape section of the menu.
212 N 3rd Ave, Walla Walla, WA 99362
Left: Potato Doughnuts with Caviar // Right: Aged White Cheddar Churros
6:00 pm – 8:15 pm: Dinner at Hattaway’s on Alder
On to dinner at Hattaway’s where you can expect soulful southern fare, great cocktails, and a striking space. We discovered this gem shortly after moving to Walla Walla and it’s been a favorite ever since. The celery salad is a must order and is, perhaps, my all-time favorite salad anywhere. You’ll also not want to miss the fried chicken and grits, the roasted oysters, or the shrimp creole toast.
125 W Alder St, Walla Walla, WA 99362
3 S Colville St, Walla Walla, WA 99362
If you somehow have room after this meal, make your way down to Pine Cone Creamery for some hand-crafted scoops or pints! Their ice cream is incredible, and they have vegan flavors available!
Thank you for allowing me to be your guide on this gluttonous, wine-filled adventure! I hope to see you in Walla Walla soon!