Hot Latinas Take Walla Walla by Storm!

On Friday July 12th, my visiting sister-in-law Adela (from Southern California) was literally begging me to do some wine tasting!   Who was I to turn her away?  Never could I do such a thing!  Now….as soon as my wife found out I was taking her sister wine tasting, you can guess what happened next right?  Yup.  You guessed it.  My wife cleared her calendar of all commitments and immediately let it be known that she would be chaperoning our wine escapades!  Apparently sibling rivalry is alive and well!  So, after a brief discussion, Adela and I decided Walla Walla would be our destination of choice.  The wine, the views, the food and the close proximity of everything made it the perfect choice for our day.  At the end of the day, these two hot Latinas took Walla Walla by Storm!

Our first destination was to partake of a private tasting at Abeja Winery just South of the Airport District in Northeast Walla Walla.  We were right on time for our 11:45 am reservation.   Being that it was a Friday, there were no crowds and we enjoyed a ton of freedom to explore the beautiful campus of Abeja (which means “bee” in Spanish).  I’ve had their wines years ago when they were available for sale at places like Fred Meyer, and I always enjoyed them.  Now, they are a “Club” exclusive winery where you must be a current mailing list member (essentially a club member), or you must be on the waiting list to become a member in order to taste and to purchase wines.  The tasting included 4 wines, 1 white and 3 reds.  The first was a 2017 Chardonnay, followed by a 2017 red blend (Beekeeper’s Blend), a 2016 Columbia Valley Merlot, and a 2016 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  The Merlot and Cab were the unanimous favorites for me and my two “hot” Latina wine ambassadors!  The vistas across the Abeja property were simply gorgeous.  If you haven’t visited….you really must go!

The next stop was just a quick 2 minute drive up Mill Creek Road to one of my favorite places – Walla Walla Vintners.  This place has such amazing vineyard views and views of the Blue Mountains that it really is stunning.  What makes it better is the wine!  They make a diverse spectrum of wines and offer consistent quality across the board.  As we bellied up to the bar they quickly offered us two different wine tasting lists – a standard list and a reserve tasting.  I wanted both and they easily obliged.  There were some nice wines on both lists, from Super Tuscans and Italian varietal wines to beautiful Bordeaux style blends and varietal wines as well.  As we began our tasting, one of the tasting room staff asked me to follow her into a highbay area where they had 3 or 4 pallets loaded with 3 and 4 deep cases of various wines that were apparently mislabeled.  This required them to sell the wines at a discount.  At $10 a bottle…regardless of the wine….I had just hit the MOTHERLODE!!!!!  I ended up buying 7 bottles of amazing wines from this room, plus a regularly priced bottle from the reserve tasting list.  What a great opportunity.  We really enjoyed this tasting!  After tasting approximately 12 wines, our palates were now primed for the day!

Our adventure continued with a drive to the downtown district.  Once we arrived in downtown Walla Walla our next stop was Seven Hills Winery.  My wife loves this place, so it was an easy decision to stop here.  As we entered the tasting room, the staff immediately recognized us and took us through a fantastic tasting were we tasted a Cabernet Franc, a Merlot, two amazing but very distinct Cabernet Sauvignon’s, and a really nice Malbec.  Adela walked away with a McClellan Vineyard Malbec and I couldn’t pass up a bottle of the 2015 Klipsun Vineyard – Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.  Mr. Casey McClellan (Seven Hills Winemaker) most certainly has the Midas Touch!

Just down the road, not more than a 1 minute drive was Armstrong Family Winery.  I love this place.  Every time I visit I enjoy my time there.  Carl Brindle was once again leading this tasting.  He has a TON of wine knowledge and really does a great job of guiding people through the tastings here.  This guy is a mover & shaker in the wine industry….and his future plans are really very exciting!  The tasting was excellent and I ended up walking away with a bottle of the 2016 Bogie’s Blend – Columbia Valley Red Wine.  Really delicious!  Thanks Carl.  We look forward to our next visit!

By this time we were getting really hungry.  After a brief walk down Main Street we came to a quaint French restaurant known as Brasserie Four.  I’d eaten there before, but this was Adela’s and Gabriela’s first time.  I knew they’d be really pleased.  We each ordered glasses of wine and enjoyed some amazing calamari, pork shoulder with baguettes, and bread with olive oil.  For our main entrées we enjoyed two plates of Steak Frites and a handmade margherita pizza.  It was simply succulent!!!!

On our way home we decided to hit one more tasting room.  So, as we drove out highway 12 West, we choose Waterbrook winery, in search of a sweeter wine option to pair with those after dinner escapades or a good cigar.  Waterbrook has a large selection of various wines both red and white, and they also had a 2014 Icon Reserve Late Harvest Semillon that was exactly what we were in search of!  The tasting was nice and we left with multiple bottles of this great dessert wine.  What a fantastic day it was.  Until next time Walla Walla.  CHEERS!!!

Aaron Diaz