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Wine Down in Washington

May 5, 2023

Updated May 5, 2023

It’s never a bad time to celebrate the wine country gem that's (almost) right under our noses in Walla Walla. After a nationwide public vote, readers of USA Today voted the Walla Walla Valley as America’s Best Wine Region in the 2020 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice awards. The region has been nominated for this award for the last three years but 2020 is the first time the region has been awarded the top distinction. 

Walla Walla is home to more than 120 wineries, a nationally recognized culinary scene, access to an abundance of outdoor recreation, and an arts and entertainment scene that rivals cities many times its size. This community of just over 30,000 residents is known for its friendliness and hospitality, the quality of its wine, and of course the famous Walla Walla Sweet Onion.

An easy and scenic four-hour drive from the Seattle-Tacoma area, Walla Walla can also be accessed via Alaska Airlines flights from SEA Airport.  And Alaska Air Mileage Club members may check up to one case of wine for free on any Alaska Airlines flight from Walla Walla or the Tri-Cities.

Here are four great ideas to explore wine country from the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance:

1.    Experience the best 

Visit Long Shadows Vintners, which took fourth place in USA Today’s Best Tasting Room category for the second consecutive year.  They have special events and virtual tastings through the end of the year.

2.    Tour du vin

Take a wine tour with a designated driver and tour guide who can help you explore the region’s wines safely.

3.    Virtual viniculture

Special celebration coming up? Walla Walla has a wine for that. The pros can help you create special pairings.

4.    Show up for a special event

There's a good reason every season to to go Walla Walla. Check the events calendar.  

Wheat fields and winery building

Port supports statewide tourism

One of the Port's Century Agenda Strategic Objectives is to "Advance this region as a leading tourism destination and business gateway." To fulfill this objective, the Port’s Tourism Development team focuses on increasing the economic development of the region. The Port team collaborates with State of Washington Tourism  office to promote Seattle as the gateway for cruising to Alaska and to encourage people to visit Seattle and Washington state before and after their cruise.

The Port’s support for the tourism industry comes through several programs: 

1.    Providing matching grants to help organizations develop and grow responsible tourism, sustainable, or adventure and nature tourism projects and diversity and inclusion in marketing.  

2.   Support for tourism destinations and visitor attractions to advertise at SEA Airport through the Spotlight Advertising program 

2.    Educating travel agents and media in other countries about the beautiful destinations in the state 

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