As if anyone needs one more reason to place Walla Walla at the top of their list of absolutely-must-visit-post-pandemic travel destinations, the Walla Walla Valley has been named America’s Best Wine Region in the 2020 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. The valley prevailed over 19 other finalists hand-picked from more than 250 U.S. wine regions by a panel of wine experts. The decision was then turned over to the public to vote between July 13 and Aug. 12.
The award comes at a fitting time as the state wraps up Washington State Wine Month. Being named America’s Best Wine Region is a well-earned exclamation point to August at a time when news this good is especially welcome. And while every award Walla Walla wins – from being named Best Wine Town (Sunset Magazine, 2018) to America’s Friendliest Small Town (Rand McNally, 2011) – is special in its own right, this one is particularly rewarding because it is the result of a public vote.
The award caps a tremendous year for not only the region, but for some of the area’s wineries. Long Shadows Vintners took home fourth place in the 2020 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Tasting Room. In March, Revelry Vintners was awarded ‘Top Red Wine’ at the 2020 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition in Houston. This was no small feat with more than 3,500 wines from 1,200 wineries. And Josh McDaniels, CEO and director of winemaking at Doubleback, Bledsoe Family Winery, and Bledsoe-McDaniels Winery, was just named to Wine Enthusiast’s prestigious 40 Under 40 Tastemakers of 2020 list.
Being named Best Wine Region is about more than the wine
Quality, craftsmanship, and care have helped earn the Walla Walla Valley and its wines a reputation as the unofficial capital of Washington wine country. Yet being named America’s Best Wine Region takes more than just wine into account.
Walla Walla is the home of countless friendly hospitality professionals who are eager to welcome visitors and share their favorite recommendations. Our imaginative culinary scene is inspired by the region’s agricultural roots including the famous Walla Walla Sweet Onion. We haven’t even mentioned the charming and historic downtown, an abundance of arts, culture, and recreation, and so much more. It all combines to create an authentic rural-chic Americana vibe that is so natural, so coveted, yet so elusive for many destinations to provide.
If you’ve been to Walla Walla before, you know exactly what we’re talking about. If you haven’t, you’re in for quite a surprise.
And if care and concern for visitor health and safety were among the criteria, Walla Walla’s margin of victory might have been even greater. Since early May, the Valley-wide Peace of Mind Pledge has been in place to provide an added layer of reassurance to visitors. Most of the region’s wineries, as well as destination lodging, restaurants, shops, and activities, are taking extra steps to ensure the health, safety, and enjoyment of the area’s bounties for visitors and locals alike. When the time is right and you are ready for a getaway, make your first stop Walla Walla: the wine region so nice, you might need to visit twice.