Walla Walla Valley
Long home to a famous onion producing industry (Walla Walla Sweets), the Walla Walla Valley is in the extreme southeastern portion of the state of Washington, and spills over the border into Oregon. This quirk of political map drawing makes Walla Walla one of the very few cross-state appellations in the country. Lying in the rain shadow of the towering cascades to the west, the area, like all of eastern Washington is semi arid. Agriculture is made possible through the use of irrigation. For most this means precisely controlled drip irrigation which puts the water where it is needed, when it is needed, and in the quantities required. Of the potential vineyard acreage in Walla Walla, only a tiny percentage has been planted thus far, making the areas potential for growth quite exciting. The only limiting factor will be ever growing demands on the Columbia River and its tributaries for water rights.

Leonetti Cellar, founded in 1977, was Walla Walla's first winery, and foreshadowed the development of the area as a boutique wine haven. Walla Walla wines tend to be lush and endearing with a heavy reliance on oak seasoning. The red wines of Leonetti, Waterbrook, L'Ecole No. 41, and the like are highly coveted and eminently accessible. As for Chardonnay, many of the wines swing for the fences, but can always rely on the tell tale acidity that Washington wines usually possess for balance. It must be noted that similarities among the area's wines have much to do with winemaking practices, as many of these wineries' bottlings utilize grapes grown outside the Walla Walla Valley. As opposed to offering proof of Walla Walla's supremacy for grape growing, the region's wines actually show how a close knit winemaking community has helped with the exchange of ideas and allowed the enological equivalent of an artistic colony to develop. (Wine/Appellations)