By Lisa Rowlands

Covering a topographically diverse area of more than one-hundred-and-thirty thousand hectares, Walla Walla Valley’s fertile land allows an abundance of fruits and vegetables to thrive; from apples to onions, strawberries to grapes, the area has been at the beating heart of the region’s agricultural industry for more than one-hundred years, and its increasingly renowned viticultural profile is continuing this proud tradition.

The appellation has four distinct soil types ranging from wind deposited silt to cobblestone gravel, and vineyard elevations between one-hundred to more than six-hundred metres about sea level. Its climate is largely considered warm and dry - precipitation is low, such that some vineyards require irrigation during the growing season, and diurnal temperature variation is significant and conducive to yielding well balanced fruit.

The area planted to vine - close to one-thousand-five-hundred hectares - is dominated by the Bordeaux red varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, along with an increasingly significant amount of the Rhône Valley grape, Syrah. Produced in much smaller quantities than the reds, Walla Walla’s principal white grapes are Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer.