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
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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