If you've spent any time here at all, over the last year, you know how much I love wine. Me and wine get along really, really well. We're BFF's.
Duane and I have visited Napa and Sonoma wine countries and loved the beauty and wines of those places, but by far, our favorite place to explore wineries is Walla Walla, WA and the surrounding area.
About five years ago we began taking annual trips to Walla Walla to celebrate our anniversary. We'd drive up and spend 3-4 days there - visiting wineries and eating out. Our anniversary is in February and that's a very quiet time in the wine business. At times we'd be the only visitors at a winery, hanging out in the tasting room and talking to the winemaker. And we'd always come home with cases (yes, plural) of new, fabulous wine.
It was awesome!
Walla Walla has emerged, over the last 6 or 7 years, as one of the finest wine areas in the country. Of course, the winemakers there would disagree - some of them have been around for decades - it just seems as if it's a new place to us! There's a humble attitude about Walla Walla. The winemakers there understand that, while they may be rock stars in the industry, when you get down to it, they're still a bunch of farmers, completely dependent on the weather and the land.
It's awesome! Oh wait, I already said that.
The last couple of years, as we approached our anniversary, we knew we couldn't afford the annual Walla Walla trip. Boo hoo. So we celebrated our anniversary in a smaller way.
Then we got a phone call last February from this guy . . . .
Meet Marshall and his wife, Kathy. He's a friend of ours from high school and Duane's roommate in college. Marsh and his family live in the L.A. area and he's really gotten into wine recently. He and Duane were talking on the phone and Marsh said something like, "Hey have you ever heard of Walla Walla and the wines there?"
Oh boy did he get an earful. He and my hubby started talking about Walla Walla and Duane mentioned our trips and the wineries that were our favorites. Marsh then invited us to join him and another couple there to celebrate his 50th birthday. That was last weekend and we most definitely went along! What a blast.
We stayed in Richland and explored the wineries in the TriCities area the first day. One of them was Terra Blanca. They have an absolutely gorgeous facility and grounds.
From the parking lot, we took a beautiful, arched walkway to the tasting room.
This is one of the private rooms at Terra Blanca. I wanted to move in.
This lovely, young lady (on the left, in case you didn't know which one I was talking about) was Allie. What a sweetie. She poured a lot of wine for us. So we bought a lot of wine from her. It was a win-win.
Anyway, within seconds of meeting her, both Duane and I looked at each other and said, "Emily". Here's a picture of my niece, Emily, who's graduating from high school in a couple of weeks -
Emily and Allie. Allie and Emily. Twins separated at birth.
We loved Terra Blanca and their wines! However, this was only the first day. We still had Walla Walla to look forward to! Two of our favorite wineries in Walla Walla are Pepperbridge and Va Piano. They both offer big, gorgeous reds - cabs, merlots and syrahs.
Here we are with Marsh, Kathy and our new friends, Carol and Ken, at Va Piano. Va Piano's tasting room looks like an Italian villa and we spent some time there, drinking wine and eating panninis!
It just so happened that it was spring release weekend in Walla Walla, the time when most of the wineries release new wines for sale. Did I mention we drank a lot of wine? Can't believe I forgot to say that.
We had a fabulously relaxing weekend, made possible by old friends, new friends and wine.
Do we need anything else in life?