Looking for good hotels and wineries in Washington State wine country.
November 5, 2007 1:45 PM   Subscribe

Looking for good hotels and wineries in Washington State wine country.

My girlfriend and I are looking to take a weekend trip from Seattle down to Walla Walla for a weekend on wine.

I am looking for suggestions on cool hotels and wineries in the area. We are somewhat experienced in the field of wine tasting and are looking for any non-touristy wineries, though we'll put up with with tourist crowds if the wine is right.

Any suggestions (or side-trips en route to Walla Walla) are welcomed.
posted by bamassippi to Travel & Transportation around Washington (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Woodward Canyon, in Lowden.
posted by cairnish at 2:07 PM on November 5, 2007

Don't know about hotels, but one of my favorite Washington wineries is Portteus in Zillah, which is a ways from but on the way to Walla Walla.
posted by pdb at 3:12 PM on November 5, 2007

I'm located in Walla Walla. Skylight Cellars and L'Ecole get raves from the local wine crowd, and if you can stay at the Marcus Whitman, do.
posted by lilithim at 3:53 PM on November 5, 2007

Hightower (may not be open--we dropped by randomly though and they were very nice).
Terra Blanca has a very nice, scenic winery (not a huge fan of their wine).

Those are more Yakima, I guess, than Walla Walla, but its a short drive.

K Vintners is a good one, if they're open.
posted by jeffamaphone at 4:37 PM on November 5, 2007

Abeja is both a winery and a bed and breakfast just outside of Walla Walla. Very good wine, and a friend who stayed there loved it.

Try a bunch, because they are quite different. You can pick up a wine map to help navigate around, and there are some services which will shuttle you from one tasting to the next -- it doesn't take very many wine tastings before you are dancing on tables and feeling very, very happy. (Yes, yes, the real snobs use the wine spittoon, but all the rest of us drink it down because spitting out perfectly good wine is a sin.)

Unlike jeffamaphone, I found the K wine not at all to my taste. I liked L'Ecole 41, Waterbrook, Buty, and Foundry much better. Here is a partial list of wineries; I'm pretty sure that there are more to choose from. I certainly tried only a fraction in a weekend of tasting.

I also wandered in unannounced to the Enology/Viticulture program building at the community college, and got a tour by a nice guy who worked there. I don't want to inundate them with AskMe readers expecting tours, but it does give a good perspective on the local industry. Maybe exercise better manners than me and call first?
posted by Forktine at 5:48 PM on November 5, 2007

In case you missed it, here is a similar question from not that long ago.
posted by Forktine at 5:50 PM on November 5, 2007

We stayed at the Marcus Whitman. To be honest, I wasn't aware of anything else besides maybe a Days Inn and (*gag*) B and B's. The Marcus Whitman is really nice and reasonably priced and has a really good restaurant.

Walla Walla isn't Napa. Wineries are spread out and most are more like working farms than quaint little farmhouses set in the middle of vineyards (with a few exceptions). There are a number of tasting rooms in town however, and that turns out to be a better option than driving all over. My personal favorite Washington winery is Forgeron and they have a tasting room in town.

Be advised, the drive is pretty long from Seattle. Six hours or so. But the trip totally changed my opinion of Washington wines (for the better).
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:16 PM on November 5, 2007

I'll admit K may not be for everyone. He makes some pretty incredible wines, IMHO. I just tasted the 2005 The Creator (a 60/40 Cab/Syrah blend) and I thought it was great. Nice, dark color, lots of body, and since he buys the grapes from Cayuse's vinyards, it has that great Red Mountain mineral taste to it. If you're in to lighter wines, Pinot's, etc, you could skip it. Either way, if you can meet the winemaker, he's quite a character.
posted by jeffamaphone at 5:39 PM on November 7, 2007

We stayed at the fairground in an RV (no help for you there) and were delighted that a short walk into the downtown area put about a large number of tasting rooms within easy shambling distance. One corner had three tasting rooms at a single intersection. We particularly enjoyed chatting with the proprietor of Morrison Lane.
posted by cairnish at 2:40 PM on November 8, 2007

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