Valdemar Estates opens new production facility, tasting room

A five-generation Spanish winemaking family has built and launched a 22,000-square-foot production facility and tasting room restaurant in Walla Walla.

Valdemar Estates’s wine production and barrel storage take up the ground floor level, and upstairs there’s a 2,000-square-foot tasting room, with an additional 2,000 square feet of patio featuring a waterfall, reflecting pool and a panoramic view of the Blue Mountains.

The winery, which opened the last weekend in April, is at 3808 Rolling Hills Lane in Walla Walla, next door to Amavi Cellars and Revelry Winery on the south side of town.

The $12 million project included the land, construction and machinery. The land was offered to Valdemar Estates by Norm McKibben, who founded Pepper Bridge Winery and also owns Amavi Cellars.

The Valdemar family has been making wine in Rioja in Northern Spain since 1889 and opened in Walla Walla to make the next five generations of wine, with grapes grown in two estate vineyards – one in The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater and the other in the North Fork, which is a higher elevation vineyard, about an hour away.

Valdemar Estates’ restaurant showcases traditional dishes from Rioja – “tapas,” or small plates to share with the table, and “pinchos,” or a little tastes, and these include charcuterie boards with cured meats, such as jamon and chorizo, manchego cheese, olives and even a flight of olive oil – all shipped from Spain.

The dishes have been specifically designed and curated to pair with the Valdemar Estate wines from its sister winery in Spain, Bodegas Valdemar, as well as the first release of Washington wine: three syrahs, made by winemaker Marie Eve Gilla.

The winery has connections to the Tri-City area. It does business with the grape growers and vineyard managers of Red Mountain. It offers three syrahs on its wine list, two of which are made with grapes from Tri-City’s adjacent vineyards: Red Mountain Vineyard and Klipsun Vineyard. Valdemar also buys grapes from Corliss Estates’ Red Mountain vineyard and Dubrul Vineyard in Yakima.

Valdemar Estates will host winemaker dinners, corporate events and small celebrations to add to its roster of events that are open to the general public, as well as a smaller slate of more exclusive events, tailored to wine club members.

Chervenell Construction Co. of Kennewick was the general contractor.

Joe Chauncey of Boxwood in Seattle was the architect.

Valdemar Estates is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. More information at valdemarestates.com; 509-956-4926.

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