Most wine drinkers are probably familiar with the big Washington wine brands Columbia Crest and Chateau Ste. Michelle (same parent company). But outside of the these producers, there are many other wineries of every size to be found, especially in the Walla Walla Valley region of Washington state – making both reds and whites, from robust Cabernet to Riesling and even dessert wines. I stopped by the Walla Walla Wine tasting in New York in February to try out some of the 2008 and 2009 red wines of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah-based wines.
To my benefit, the event was not that crowded, especially when I first arrived. I had the opportunity to chat with winery reps, winemakers and distributors about the wines themselves without being rushed. There were numerous instances of people quite unfamiliar with WA wines let alone Walla Walla wines (a good sign that attendees were there to learn more); however, all of the hosts and distributors were happy to explain their wines and stories.