Vineyard Shot

Accolades

Accolades for Forgeron Cellars

Sunset Magazine: Best Small Towns for Foodies

One of the few wineries mentioned within the article, Forgeron Cellars is a "can't miss" winery in Walla Walla.

Our Favorite Small-Town Foodie Havens

Looking for some of the best wines in the country? Organic, seasonal cuisine? These small towns have it all...

WALLA WALLA, WA 

A Cab capital stays true to its rural soul

Population: 30,794 

What a house costs: $224,900

The vibe: This southeastern Washington town was once famous for wheat & sweet onions. These days, show up at Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen on a Friday night, & you’ll see it filled with young winemakers who produce some of the best Cabernets & Syrahs in the country. Chefs have followed the grapes too. The combination has revived a once-somnolent downtown, with restaurants & tasting rooms occupying restored early-20th-century buildings. But while Walla Walla might be gentrified, it holds onto its rural soul. Outdoor sports are big: Winemaker Chris Figgins snowshoes in 12º weather & fly-fishes when it’s warmer. –Sara Schneider

Meet your neighbors over: The amazing housemade flatbread at Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen. Fish tacos at college pub Green Lantern.

On Saturday: Stop at the Walla Walla Valley Farmers’ Market (May–Oct), bike in the Blue Mountains, or tour Pepper Bridge Winery, Va Piano Vineyards, & other wineries south of town. Head back into town for more wine tasting at Seven Hills Winery or Forgeron Cellars, or savor a caramel at 75-year-old Bright’s Candies. For dinner, both Whitehouse-Crawford Restaurant & 26brix are standouts.

Inside scoop: "Wine grapes are the apex of 'local.' They have a deep sense of place. And wine will take Walla Walla to the world." –Chris Figgins, winemaker, Leonetti Cellar

 

Where: 275 miles southeast of Seattle, 242 miles northeast of Portland.
Main drag:
 Main Street, downtown.
Intellectual anchors: Whitman College - 1,434 students; Walla Walla University - 1,829 students.
Grape minds:
Walla Walla Community College’s Enology & Viticulture program, with its own teaching vineyard & winery.
Number of tasting rooms downtown: 17
Home style
: A contemporary on a 1-acre lot.
Visit: 
wallawalla.org; Marcus Whitman Hotel (from $139; marcuswhitmanhotel.com)

Sara Schineider, Sunset Magazine, March 2009