Wow guys, just wow. You know how sometimes you think you have a really great plan and actionable steps to make it happen, and then all of a sudden you’re going on two or three trips, celebrating no less than 10 birthdays, your husband competes in a 70.3 Ironman, and before you know it, it’s the Fourth of July and you’re sitting in a friend’s stairwell trying to keep your dog from losing her shit during the fireworks and you realize you have blog posts from TWO MONTHS AGO sitting in your drafts folder.
Oh, is that just me? Oops.
Well that’s been my life in one supremely executed run-on sentence. But let’s take a step back before all that, like two months ago, to a nicer time when we went on our second spontaneous wine tasting trip of 2016. This time we wound our way through the Palouse to the wonderful wine town of Walla Walla, Washington.
We started our trip off with a quick stop by Palouse Falls. I learned a lot about the falls in my geology class at WSU and we visited it on a field trip one day. Palouse Falls has a really cool geologic history – if you’re into that – but even if you’re not a science buff, anyone can appreciate the beauty. What shocked me when I first visited is how the falls appear to come from nowhere. You can’t see the river from the road so it looks like the hills open up to release a massive amount of water. It’s amazing, I highly recommend checking it out sometime. There is camping nearby and trails that circumvent the falls and river.
Walla Walla has been on my list for a very long time. Casually known as the “Napa Valley of the Northwest” Walla Walla’s list of wineries and award-winning wines keeps growing. With over 100 wineries in the area, picking which ones to visit could be a daunting task, however we were lucky enough to have a personal guide for the weekend. A friend of ours is a member of several wine clubs and gets to go to some really cool events because of it. We accompanied him and his family for a crawfish boil hosted by Rotie Cellars, downtown. But I’ll get to that in a bit.
We started with Cougar Crest on the outskirts of town. Even though this wasn’t one of our scheduled stops, the group humored me and let me visit my alma mater’s namesake vineyard. I’ll tell you what, we may not always win at sports, but we totally win at wine.
We got a great tour of each of the wineries we visited and having experienced Walla Walla enthusiasts with us made leaning about each wine varietal that much easier. Adam actually lived in Europe for a while and really grew to know and love French wine – a departure from what I tend to lean toward – so it was a lot of fun to hear his take and break outside my wine comfort zone.
Where We Wined
So, given that this happened a while ago and I kept having glasses of wine handed to me, I don’t remember every winery we went to. But here are the ones that I do remember.
Where We Dined
Walla Walls isn’t just known for its wine, but also for its downtown and food scene. There’s one place that at least five people told us to go to called Saffron. Unfortunately, we just never made it, but I’m sure we’ll be going back soon to check it out.
- Public House 124 – This place was your pretty typical pub/brewery setup, but I do remember them having particularly awesome french fries. It’s a great spot to grab a late lunch to soak up all the wine or to take the non-winedrinkers that may be accompanying you.
- Olive Marketplace – We ate here for breakfast before leaving town and it was awesome. I would love to go back later in the day though because what really grabbed my attention was their dessert and cheese cases.
Overall, it was a wonderful weekend getaway, a fun drive through the Palouse accompanied by a fun little town full of wine is my idea of the perfect weekend. A special thanks to our hosts, Adam and Jane, for their generous invitation and expert tour guide skills. Two random, fun facts about that weekend:
- We got to stay in the same room that Mike Birbiglia crashed out of while sleepwalking. (watch the stand-up video here – he talks about Walla Walla at about 5:30) My apologies for the poor photo quality.
2. I was learning how to use SnapChat that weekend, and I saved the videos I took – including those from the crawfish boil. You can follow me @andykn26. Enjoy!
So that was our 48 hours in Walla Walla!
PS – What do you think of the new design? It coordinates with my new website (gasp!) that I’ll be sharing soon.