FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

A New Walla Walla Favorite

by Patricia Vanikiotis

Jun 1, 2019

Our annual trek to Walla Walla, Washington’s Spring Release Weekend found us searching out some new (to us) wineries to discover in addition to old favorites that we always visit. We really feel like we scored big with our choices of Long Shadows Vintners and The Walls Vineyards. In tone and ambience they occupy different realms, but in quality and drinkability their wines exist on an elevated plane together.

Long Shadows founder Allen Shoup’s vision was to recruit the world’s finest winemakers and provide them with the region’s best grapes and a winery which could meet their exacting cellar specifications. The call was answered by highly acclaimed and awarded vintners (each of whom have cast long shadows in their careers) from Australia, France, Italy and California who became part-owners in the enterprise, begun in 2003. The result is a collection of seven ultra-premium Columbia Valley wines (six reds and one Reisling), all rated at 92 points or better and offered at less-than-premium prices (current releases top out at $65 a bottle).

The winery’s facility sits among rolling wheat fields (a bright, fresh green on this spring day), Long Shadows Vintners a modern, low-slung, rust-red building set into a hillside. Long Shadows Vintners On the entrance level, the stunning Chihuly Tasting Room features a huge, suspended piece of the artist’s glass sculpture Long Shadows Vintners  as well as smaller pieces rising up from the floor. Long Shadows Vintners Comfortable armchairs allow one to sip and savor the views of the countryside through floor-to-ceiling windows. Long Shadows Vintners  Long Shadows Vintners  We enjoyed the crisp Reisling before heading downstairs to the production floor where the other wines were being poured.

There we were able to see the ranks of oak barrels, stainless steel vats and even wine eggs (Qvevri) used to age and ferment the wine.  Long Shadows Vintners    Long Shadows Vintners  Long Shadows Vintners

Long Shadows Vintners

Pirouette wine barrel

We even gained access to the private “cellar” reserved for Key Club members. Long Shadows Vintners There we enjoyed some nibbles of fruit, cheese, breads and charcuterie alongside some of the older vintages as well as the new releases.

We found all of the wines beautifully balanced with wonderful fruit and structure, delicious now but sure to improve and refine further with age. Although Harry swore before we started our trip he wouldn’t be joining any new wine clubs . . . you guessed it . . . he couldn’t resist the lovely wines of Long Shadows. Not that I’m complaining!

I’ll share our experience at The Walls Vineyards next week.

— Patty Vanikiotis, associate editor/copy editor

 

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FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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