Walla Walla Wine News


I have been in Walla Walla for almost a week now. Here are some new developments in this town since I was here last in December.


T. Maccarone's Buys Merchants Ltd.

Tom Maccarone and Jake Crenshaw have purchased Merchant's Ltd. on Main Street and will rename it Olive Market Place. When its sister restaurant opens, T. Maccarones on Colville Street will end its lunch service. The Market's Ltd. location is being completely renovated. Even the sinks and toilets (which are piled up behind the building) are being replaced. The reopening will be good for those who like to discover new wineries, as Tom has always been a supporter of them.


Cayuse Moves its Release Party to April

The second weekend of November became "Fall Release Weekend" when other wineries joined Cayuse in releasing new vintages. Now, Christophe Baron has announced that Cayuse's release party will be moved to April. Baron says he needs the warmer weather. This is great for lodging and restaurants as it gives them another weekend for extending hospitality to out of town guests. But it makes things tricky for other wineries. Spring Release in early May, though, will stay there, as it is a scheduled Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance event.


Amavi and Pepper Bridge to Open Tasting Room in Woodinville

The sister Walla Walla Valley wineries, Amavi and Pepper Bridge, raised some eyebrows with the announcement that they would open a tasting room near the Hollywood School House in Woodinville. This continues the extension of outposts in this burgeoning area, joining Walla Walla wineries, Gifford Hirlinger, Dusted Valley and Isenhower. There is an undeniable logic to having a presence closer to Seattle and Bellevue, but Woodinville cannot possibly compare to the allure of Walla Walla, especially that of Pepper Bridge's own location with its sweeping view of the vineyards and Blues.


Locati Cellars and Faces Walla Open Tasting Rooms

Locati Cellars, owned by Michael and Penne Locati, has opened a tasting room in the old Railroad Depot. Watch for reviews of its wines in the February issue of the Review of Washington Wines. Another new tasting room is Faces Walla on Main Street. It is owned by Rick and Debbie Johnson who also own Walla Walla Inns. I will be doing a write-up in the March issue.