On Thursday morning, we are handing off our darling babies and running away. Picking up some good friends along the way, we are headed east to Walla Walla and Red Mountain for some Washington Wine Country grown-up time. I have had Red Mountain on my AVA Bucket List for a while now and I am excited to experience it for myself.
For the last two years, we have celebrated our loving bond nestled among the grapevines and chic restaurants of Napa Valley. This year, we are staying “local” and re-discovering the vineyards and wine makers of Eastern Washington. Given that our first trip to Walla Walla was done without a lot of direction or a plan and I wanted to make the most of our short time on Red Mountain, I needed to do some research.
In addition to my usual fumblings about on social media and referrals from friends and helpful people, I wanted a more in-depth view on the histories of these places and the influencing factors and people who make it what it is today. A quick Amazon search brought forth a surprisingly short list on Washington Wine Country. Maybe we are all expected to find our info on the interwebs these days? I was able to find these two books to help me patch together a bigger picture of the area and the industry.
Washington Wine Country by Judy Peterson-Nedry, Judy Nedry, and Robert M. Reynolds
This book provided a really good overview of the development of the grape growing industry, the key leaders who influenced the shift from table grapes to wines grapes and wine making, and an overview of some of the key winemakers and wineries. Unfortunately, it was published in 2003 and a lot has happened in the last 12 years. I needed something newer.
Wines of Walla Walla Valley: A Deep-Rooted History by Caite McIntyre Walker
Published in 2014, I really wanted to read this book cover-to-cover as an in-depth historical narrative and love it deeply. And while the history is wonderful and detailed – exactly what I was looking for – the narrative jumps around a lot, making it the reader’s job to tie all of the stories together. This is a great reference piece, but I wouldn’t recommend it as an easy read. I did learn more about the wineries on our itinerary for Friday’s Walla Walla tour, so that will enrich that day’s activities with some historical perspective.
I am sure I will come home on Sunday afternoon with some discoveries and maybe a new book or two to add to my Wine Nerd Library. I am curious about The Rocks District of Milton–Freewater AVA and whether or not I need to add it to my AVA Bucket List.