Walla Walla Valley, located in southeastern Washington along the Oregon border, was officially designated as a winegrowing region in 1984. The appellation and city name come from the Native American word meaning “many waters,” referring to the Walla Walla River. The area has a long farming history and is an agricultural hub as an apple, onion and wheat producer. Walla Walla Valley also has the largest concentration of wineries in the state.
The land of this special region was formed through thousands of years of ancient volcanic activity followed by glacial slack water deposits from the Missoula Floods, creating deep loess soils with a basalt foundation. The soils found here are nutrient-poor and free-draining, which naturally limits vine vigor so that plant energy is focused on fruit development. This highly beneficial soil composition also allows the grapes to be planted on their own roots, thereby producing more authentic varietal traits.
Not only is Walla Walla Valley blessed with a variety of soil types and terroir, it has one of the most climatically diverse and ideal grape growing climates in the world. The appellation lies in a desert-like environment where low rainfall allows control of the amount of water the vines receive, in order to guide ripeness and flavor development. A growing season of abundant sunshine, warm days and cool nights results in grapes that achieve perfect ripeness, complexity, and balance.