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Walla Walla, Washington’s Wineries

By Bruce Schoenfeld
Published: March 2005

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In the sleepy southeastern corner of Washington state, a quiet revolution is under way. Meet some of the passionate (even obsessed) vintners, chefs, and farmers who are making Walla Walla this country’s next great wine destination.

I won’t soon forget the first meal I ate in Walla Walla. It was six years ago, just as the local wine industry was beginning to boom. One of the area’s leading viticulturists, a man of some sophistication, took me to what he pointedly called “the best restaurant in town.” His quote marks hung in the air like smoke; before long, I understood why. The restaurant was a family steak house, on the model of a Sizzlerbut lacking the predictability of a chain. The room smelled like a school cafeteria, and the meat that arrived at our table tasted like something an office-supply store might sell.

Now I sit at a dining room table in Dayton, Washington, half an hour outside Walla Walla, reveling in the unmistakable, earthy scent of fresh truffles….

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