Southeastern Washington has been producing high-quality wines for decades. But in the past five years, the wineries of the Walla Walla Valley have drawn international accolades for the reds — particularly syrahs — produced from the unique soil just across the border in Oregon.
Grapes grown in the six square miles known as The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater absorb the minerals from the distinctive basalt cobblestones, resulting in savory, earthy wines that have been compared to those of France’s northern Rhone Valley.
In 2014, The Rocks was designated an American viticultural area, a sub-region of the 2,000-acre Walla Walla Valley AVA. The Rocks’ unique terroir is a combination of basalt gravel and sediment deposited during the Missoula Floods at the end of the last ice age, more than 13,000 years ago.
My husband, son and I ventured to the area in August to taste some of these distinctive reds, as well as wines from the greater Walla Walla Valley.
Walla Walla, settled…
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