Wines so nice: Walla Walla Valley

By on February 16, 2014

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Pepper Bridge Vineyard was planted in 1991, and Pepper Bridge Winery was launched in 1998. Both are south of Walla Walla, Washington.

Pepper Bridge Vineyard, planted in 1991, produces some of the Walla Walla Valley’s most famous wine grapes. (Photo courtesy of Pepper Bridge Winery)

Nestled against the Blue Mountains in the eastern Columbia Valley of Washington and Oregon, the Walla Walla Valley has enjoyed a reputation for great red wines, thanks in large part to pioneers from the 1970s and ’80s. Names such as Leonetti, Woodward Canyon, L’Ecole, Waterbrook and Seven Hills helped pave the path to more than 130 wineries operating today in the Walla Walla Valley American Viticultural Area. And thanks to the wine industry, Walla Walla has attracted top chefs from throughout the country, leading to a robust culinary and tourism scene. Despite the size of the Walla Walla wine industry, the valley does not grow a huge amount of grapes – fewer than 2,000 acres. But the vineyards are famous well beyond the AVA, including such names as Seven Hills and Pepper Bridge and cult-status interest in an area on the Oregon side of the valley called “the rocks.” With that, here are 10 examples of wine from Walla Walla Valley grapes.

About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is the editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is a frequent judge at international wine competitions. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books. He writes about wine for The Seattle Times. You can find him on Twitter and .

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