Walla Walla Valley Wine Country in Washington state draws thousands of wine loving tourists each year with its 140 wineries, nationally recognized Pacific Northwest cuisine, and a wine country charm that is unlike anywhere else in the United States. Walla Walla offers access to an abundance of outdoor recreation, and an impressive local arts & entertainment scene. I have shared other Walla Walla wineries and wine experiences in the past, and since we are still celebrating Washington Wine Month I wanted to give a quick shout out to one more Walla Walla winery that warrants a visit when in the WW Valley.
As a teenager in the early 1980’s founding Winemaker Eric Dunham discovered his love for wine as he helped himself and enjoyed his parent’s international wine collection. Even a change of wine cellar locks could not stop Eric from finding new ways to sample the cellar’s offerings much to his parents dismay. This self introduced wine loving journey continued as Eric enjoyed numerous trips to Napa Valley over the years with a final declaration that what he wanted to do most with his life was to make wine. With a plan in place Eric worked at Hogue Cellars in Prosser, WA on a 6 month internship and soon after he was hired at L’Ecole No. 41 as their assistant winemaker. Eric began making small lots of Dunham wine at L’Ecole with winemaker Marty Clubb’s blessing and 1995 marked the first bottling of Dunham Cabernet Sauvignon. The rest, as they say, is history after Eric was introduced to David and Cheryll Blair who shared Eric’s passionate pursuit of great wines.
Today Dunham Cellars invites people to their welcoming tasting room just outside of Walla Walla to try their current releases and share more about the winery’s history. During my visit I not only got to taste some of their wines but I was given a behind the scenes tour of the winery including a peak into their impressive Wine Library.
Who wouldn’t want to take home some of these library collections!
I am a big fan of Dunham Cellars red wines, especially Three Legged Red which is currently in my cellar. However, it was their selection of whites which completely WOWed me. I am continuing to find myself stepping into the role of a Washington State White Wine advocate.
I was instantly charmed by Dunham Cellars beautiful 2016 Late Harvest Riesling.
This stunning 2016 vintage Late Harvest Riesling grabs you attention instantly with its soft amber color even before you take a sip. For me this wine felt like Fall in a glass with spectacular notes of honey dipped pears and sweet spices. I imagined enjoying this wine with a slice of whip cream topped pumpkin pie and I am sure that is exactly what I will pair it with something this coming holiday season. The rich flavor of this wine was so beautifully rounded and delivered a lovely long finish that as I write this and remember the flavor I wish I had purchased more than one bottle. This 100% Riesling was made from grapes grown in Lewis Estate Vineyard in the Columbia Valley and is 100% stainless.
Walla Walla Wine Country never fails to amaze me with its sprawling landscape and unique Washington Wineries. I hope your travels through this wine region, you stop in at Dunham Cellars and get a taste of some true Walla Walla wine making history.
Images © Drink In Nature Photography and Drink In Life Blog.