There are 120 wineries in Walla Walla and my mission was to find and taste all the bubbly this AVA had to offer.
Walla Walla Wine Country was officially established in 1984 when it became an AVA with a wide variety of grapes, vineyards and tasting rooms that span from Washington State into Oregon.
Even though there are over 2,900 acres of grapes, surprisingly, the sparkling wine is hard to find. There are several producers leaning into bubbly and selfishly, I, of course, am hoping many more hop board truly creating a sparkling wine destination.
In preparation for my visit, I used the Visit Walla Walla website to search each winery individually to see if they made a bubbly or not. Here’s something interesting, I had a list of sparkling wineries in Walla Walla created in 2020, and we all know why that trip never happened, and many of the wineries on that list no longer had bubbly, so this was basically becoming a whole new trip itinerary.
Sparkling Wineries in Walla Walla
I had so much fun with Fiona, the founder and winemaker, learning all about SMAK wines. This is a must visit when you’re in Walla Walla.
Fiona’s whole philosophy is “Wine is fun!” And that comes through loud and clear during your visit.
While SMAK has only been open since 2019, she has been making rosé since 2013. And yes, rosé is all you will find here at SMAK. She has created seasonal rosés that that tell a perfect story and will have you drinking different types of rosé all year long.
My favorite was winter, because, of course, that is sparkling. This syrah blended with a little grenache is a great sparkling rosé to be enjoyed every winter during your favorite celebrations or in my case, on a hot summer day because it’s bubbly, fun and delicious!
You know I was excited to visit the sparkling wine bar while I was in town and you need to as well.
What fun I had with Cathy exploring all different types of sparkling wines. You can taste sparkling wines from around the world and, of course, locally as well. Not to mention, mimosa flights and fun bubbly drinks with cotton candy.
If you’re looking for a fun place to get together with your friends, have a bachelorette party or any celebration really, you need to chat with Cathy. I guarantee you will have a super fun bubbly experience.
Stop here to shop for some fun merchandise here or grab lunch and some bubbly and sit on their outdoor deck. If you’re local, be sure to stay tuned to their instagram to learn when they have live music and new, fun bubbly drinks.
Canoe Ridge was the start of my tasting room visits on Main Street in Walla Walla. The 8th oldest winery in Walla Walla, Canoe Ridge is a part of the Precept Wine family.
They had two forced carbonated sparkling wines for me to try. Typically, they do have a traditional method sparkling, but they are currently sold out.
I tried both of their Tasting Room Exclusive sparkling wines. First was their brut which is limited production is 100% chardonnay. Next I tried their sparkling brut rosé, also limited production, which they only make 300 cases of.
Browne Family Vineyards is also a part of the Precept Wine family and also had two forced carbonated sparkling wines on their menu. I was told their traditional method sparkling wine will be back this summer.
Browne Family Vineyards started in 2005 and each wine is dedicated to family. The brut is 100% chardonnay and limited to 900 cases. Their brut rosé is 100% pinot noir.
This wasn’t on my list of places to visit from the beginning, but 3 people in the first few hours I was in Walla Walla told me that I had to go here to try the sparkling. Unfortunately it wasn’t on the flight, so I just bought a bottle and left.
Fysalides, which means tiny bubbles in Greece, is made from 67% pinot noir and 33% chardonnay with its grapes coming from the Willamette Valley.
I didn’t have Mark Winery on the list because I didn’t properly navigate their website, but when I saw them on Main Street I ran in like a crazy person because if you have been around for a bit, they sent me some sparkling wine a couple years ago and I absolutely loved it.
The good news is, they’re still producing Untethered Bubbles which is 100% chardonnay. The is the second vintage, so I had to grab a bottle to take with me and share with friends back home.
This winery just transported me right back to Spain! This is the perfect place to be transported and enjoy a glass of their sparkling albariño.
I had never tasted a sparkling albariño before so I was quite excited for it. Made in the traditional method, they have been making Brillánte since 2008. This bubbly was quite refreshing and I certainly enjoyed it on my deck at the Eritage that evening.
One of my favorite parts of my visit here was learning about the family and how they incorporated so much family history and traditions into the winery.
And you must ask about the sparkling sangria, Tiá B, because I was shocked when they told me how it’s made and how much of it. It is definitely on my list to go back and visit on a nice summer day and try their sparkling sangria!
This was my very first stop driving into town and my midwest heart was so happy to learn that the founders are from Wisconsin.
I thought it was so cool that the tasting room is actually their first house that they bought 20 years ago and have now turned it into the perfect place to enjoy their wine.
I tasted their Pet Nat (that hadn’t even been released yet) which is a blend of 50% chardonnay and 50% sauvignon blanc. A very interesting blend that I was excited to try. It’s crisp and refreshing and I, of course, had to snag some for my sauvignon blanc loving friends.
I was told that they do release a traditional method sparkling wine once a year and sadly it was already sold out.
Keep your eye on this winery because they have some big, exciting things planned for sparkling wines in the very near future.
This was one of my favorite places to visit because not only was their bubbly amazing and my time with Edith Morell was incredible, but you were actually tasting in a working cellar. So you can see the tanks and barrels up close and personal while you’re enjoying their wine.
Morel-Peña, a boutique winery, has been around for 18 years, focusing only on chardonnay, pinot noir and sparkling. And this, 2018 vintage, is only their second vintage of sparkling wine.
Made in the traditional method, I tasted their brut nature Blanc de Blancs and their Blanc de noirs with zero dosage added. Sadly the brut rosé was sold out. I definitely brought home a blanc de blancs to share with friends.
This tasting is by reservation only, so be sure to make one. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
Where to Stay
The Eritage Resort was incredible! My only regret is that I didn’t bring anyone with me on this trip because this resort is perfect for couples or girls’ trip or even families because there is so much to enjoy after you’re done bubbly tasting.
There are two types of rooms here: guest rooms and bungalows. I had the pleasure of staying in the bungalow which has a great little deck over the water which was perfect for enjoying an evening glass of bubbly.
And speaking of bubbly, I got to try their very first vintage of sparkling wine which was so excited. I loved learning about the way this sparkling wine came to be. As it was told to me it was a “happy accident” that this bubbly was created.
This forced carbonated 100% chardonnay from the Wente Clone 72, this bubbly was nice and crisp and refreshing. On the nose, it smelled a bit sweet which had me worried because you know I don’t enjoy sweet wines, but on the palate it was perfectly tart and crisp with notes of green apple.
When you stay here, be sure to grab a bottle and bring it back to your room or have a seat by the water and enjoy.
For more details on this amazing resort, go check out our full recap.
This long overdue trip to visit the sparkling wineries in Walla Walla was so much fun. And while I didn’t get to taste all the sparkling wine in the area, I did taste most of it. (We think I missed 3 wineries).
The exciting thing is that a couple of the owners I spoke with are really focusing on sparkling wine and plan on putting Walla Walla on the map as a must visit destination for bubbly.
As you know I love traveling about to taste sparkling wine that makes it easy for my friends in North America to visit. We are currently updated many of these and sparkling producers are continually popping up, but here’s a good list to get started.
Where should we visit next?