Fort Walla Walla Cellars

About the Walla Walla Valley

The state's first vines were planted in the mid 1800's at Fort Walla Walla, near the Walla Walla Valley.

Walla Walla Valley's geological history contains numerous events that contributed to extraordinary grape-growing soils. Enormous basaltic lava flows, dating back over 10 million years, established the soil foundation of the Walla Walla Plateau. Over 12,000 years ago, the periodic melting of gigantic glaciers caused cataclysmic floods that formed giant lakes where the silts, sands, and gravels were deposited, and when they receded, runoff waters scoured out channels and valleys in the eastern Washington landscape.

These phenomenal floods, the largest in geological history, left behind a deposit of fine-grained soils that set the stage for some of the finest grape growing land in the world. The state's first vines were planted in the mid 1800's at Fort Walla Walla, near the Walla Walla Valley.

The 285 square mile Walla Walla wine appellation is located on approximately the same latitude (46º N) as the great French wine regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy. This northern latitude location produces about two more hours of summer sunlight each day than the California wine grape regions. Warm summer days and gradually decreasing fall temperatures, together with the valley's unique soils are the key ingredients to producing premium wines.