“The historic, tree-lined farming community of Walla Walla, until recently best known for its sweet onions, has quickly become the epicenter of Washington wine tourism.” -Wine Enthusiast Magazine, naming Walla Walla one of the 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations (worldwide).
Often referred to as the “breadbasket” of the state, the landscape east of the Cascade Mountain Range is filled with wheat fields that almost glow with their vibrant green hue in the spring; shimmering, golden ocean waves of these same fields in the warmer summer and fall months; and great expanses of apple and cherry orchards dotting the landscape from the northern border, down to Oregon in the south. And then there’s the wine…
Washington is the second largest producer of wine grapes in the US. The weather is dry and temperatures are much warmer on the east side of the state where most of the grapes are grown versus the wetter, west side. And with 13 distinct American Viticultural Areas, Washington State has some serious diversity in soil types, topography, microclimates, and wine touring regions.
Our Taste Vacation in Washington is a two-night, three-day tour based from the historic town of Walla Walla. Walla Walla is a farming town whose tourism is now centered on wine – the downtown will charm the pants off any visitor.
Washington state isn’t Napa. It isn’t the Willamette Valley. It is it’s own, unique grape growing region with a tradition of making wines that make a lasting impression on those lucky enough to drink them and a local culture that makes for an outstanding Taste Vacation.
- Join our small group public tour or create your own private group
- A walk with a local historian through downtown Walla Walla followed by an Art Meets Wine dinner at Foundry Vineyard
- Your own personal blending session at Northstar Winery
- A jump into Oregon, still part of the Walla Walla appellation, for a “Walk Through The Rocks”, Oregon’s newest AVA
- Overview of the Red Mountain AVA via Col Solare, an American-Italian partnership
- Two incredible wine pairing dinners at wineries, some with winery owners, experiences not normally offered to the public
- Spring Valley Vineyard – Walla Walla
- Foundry Vineyards – Walla Walla
- Delmas – Walla Walla
- Northstar Winery – Walla Walla
- Tranche Cellars – Walla Walla
- Col Solare – Benton City
- Location: Southeast Washington
- Next Public Tour Date: September 23- 25, 2018
- Trip Price Per Person: $1,900
- Optional single supplement: $600
- Host: Allan Wright
- Meals: Breakfasts and dinners. Lunches will be on your own to give you a chance to explore the area.
Private Tour Option
- Private Tours are available to book with your own group on any date you choose, given lodging availability, as either Classic or Deluxe
- Deluxe Tour: $3,000 per person (Optional $900 Single Supplement)
- Classic Tour: $1,900 per person (Optional $600 Single Supplement)
- Minimum: 6 people
- Customizations available with additional cost
The following is included in our Deluxe Tour offering:
- All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
- All our wine tours include tastings of very good to excellent wines. However, these are not necessarily rare, reserve, or old wines. If you would like to upgrade your wine tastings on a private tour, please let us know in advance and we are happy to arrange that at an additional cost.
- Upgraded to luxury accommodations
Welcome to Washington wine country! We meet at the airport and arrive in idyllic downtown Walla Walla by early afternoon. Walla Walla, known as the “land of many waters” by the indigenous native American tribe, is now Washington’s leading wine town.
Over 100 wineries exist in the Walla Walla area and each has its own, unique history. Many of the most well-regarded Washington State wines are from Walla Walla and the robust single varietals and blends will delight your palate. We taste many styles of Merlot, Cabernet, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon.
We learn about Walla Walla’s rich cultural and agricultural history on a walking tour with the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation before heading to Foundry Vineyards for an exclusive “Art Meets Wine” dinner with the owners of Foundry Vineyards who are also intimately involved in the local, national, and international art worlds via the Walla Walla Foundry, sort of a production facility for major art pieces employing over one hundreds artists, which they started 30+ years ago.
After dinner we return to our downtown accommodations for a peaceful night, dreaming of all the wines to experience on Day Two.
After an artisan breakfast that sources all ingredients locally, we head towards Oregon (it’s only a 10-minute drive) and pay a visit to SJR Vineyard, the estate vineyard for Delmas, located in “The Rocks District” within the Walla Walla Valley AVA.
Owners, Steve and Mary Robertson, have rallied considerable support for the recent recognition of The Rocks District, which was just approved as Oregon’s newest, second-smallest, and 18th AVA. The Rocks District is the only AVA in the United States whose boundaries were defined based upon a single soil series and a single land form.
We amble over to Northstar Winery for a gourmet wine country lunch and a custom blending session. The end result of which is your own, individually blended and labeled bottle of wine to take home with you! We take in the scenery of the Blue Mountains while driving to Tranche Cellars for a visit of their winery which focuses on Rhone Valley varietals and Mediterranean wines.
In the evening, we luxuriate in a private, Chef’s Table wine dinner at the Marc Restaurant.
We visit one last wine AVA before delivering wine guests to the airport in Pasco: the Red Mountain AVA.
We explore the wine partnership at Col Solare which represents the Washington state/Italy alliance between two amazing producers – Chateau St. Michelle (WA) and Marchesi Antinori (Italy). This beautiful wine estate reflects the old and new world aesthetics and traditions of the two partners in the Red Mountain AVA, Washington state’s smallest American Viticultural Area.
It is then on to the Pasco airport for your flight home or to rent a car and continue your vacation in either Washington or Oregon.
What is Included
- All Local Transportation
- Double Occupancy Lodging
- All Meals From Dinner on Day One Through Breakfast on Day Three
- All Scheduled Activities
- Wine During Organized Tastings
- Wines Selected by Winery Owners Included With Meals on Deluxe Private Tours (optional $150 supplement on public or Classic Private Tours)
- Professional Tour Host
Not Included: Travel to and from destination, wine with meals (included on Deluxe Private Tours and an optional $150 charge to include on public and Classic Private Tours), personal expenses, and optional gratuities to local staff and your Host. Travel insurance is also not included, though we highly recommend it. Check out our Travel Insurance page for more information.
While the general trip itinerary will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotels, and activities listed are subject to modifications. Changes that are out of our control are common — restaurants close or lose their amazing chef, a winery changes their visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, etc. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and so it is possible we may take the liberty of making necessary changes to the itinerary that will improve your overall trip experience. If there is any one experience that is going to make or break your trip, please discuss this with us in advance.
Arrival & Departure
We will pick you up at the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco, Washington at 1:00 PM on Day 1 or slightly earlier from a pre-arranged Pasco hotel if you arrive in advance. The Tri-Cities Airport is quite well connected for a small airport, served by Delta, Alaska Air/Horizon Air, United and Allegiant with flights to Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Mesa, Arizona. The tour ends back at the airport on Day four where you can catch a flight out or rent a car to continue your vacation. Details will be provided in the Pre-Departure Packet after you reserve your vacation.
The Marcus Whitman hotel is the top hotel lodging property in Walla Walla, including beautiful accommodations, expansive modern conference center, on-site wine tasting rooms, and a nationally recognized award-winning restaurant and casual wine lounge, all set to a sophisticated old-world backdrop. It is one of our favorite historic small-town hotels anywhere.
Please note: Hotels are subject to availability. If listed hotel is not available at time of tour, a hotel that is equal or better to the original will be secured.