Rioja in Washington?

When Spanish and Washington Wine regions collide, you end up with an oasis in Walla Walla where you can cheat on Washington Wine without cheating on Washington Wine.  This model at Valdemar Estates is unique, and I can’t seem to get enough of it. 

Valdemar Estates

How cool is this architecture?

Valdemar Estates is a well-established Spanish Winery in the Rioja region of Spain.  This 5th generation family winery decided to get into Washington Wine.  That’s right they decided to expand into Washington Wine arena and are starting with a trio of delicious Syrah wines.

I was told to check this place out on my last trip to Walla Walla as it was new, and no one was sure what was going on. Could you drink wine from Rioja? Did they have wine from Washington? They are a new winery in the area – and I mean new – they opened a week before I got there.  I wasn’t the only one who had heard about this place – it was packed! 

Fantastic hospitality at Valdemar Estates

I could go on for days about the architecture and the building, but I won’t because I don’t want to over shadow the wine and the fantastic experience you have when you are there.  It was a pleasure talking with Devyani Isabel Gupta the assistant wine maker as I went through their wine flights this busy release weekend in May.  

Views and water feature at Valdemar Estates

This flight is ready for takeoff: 

Their tasting line up offering is 3-fold – 1) Rioja Whites, 2) Rioja Reds and 3) Washington Syrah flights.  After drinking Washington Reds all day, I was all over the Rioja Flight.  

  • 2015 Graciano – this wine was delicious and tasted of ripe olives – it was on the lighter side for a Graciano.  Devyani told me about how the Graciano was almost extinct due to the Tempranillo movement in Spain but the family saved some vines and continued to produce.  
  • The 2016 Maturana felt like you were with a friend you have known your whole life.  This wine was not only Devyani’s favorite, but it quickly became mine.  Was a smooth drinking red that was delicious and paired well with a spicy Texas BBQ chicken dish I made when I got home. 
  • 2015 Edicio’n Limitada was the last of my flight and looked and felt like a limited wine.  This was a dark delicious red blend that really allowed the flavors of the Rioja region shine.  This is the wine you bring out for a special night.  It needs no introduction and commands respect when poured.

Don’t forget the delicious food!

Delicious bites at Valdemar Estates

My palete was instantly transported out of Washington State – a palete cleanser if you will.  While I revisited the Maturana, I was told about the concept of this winery and how they were able to not only import the family Rioja Wines but sell them alongside their 2017 Washington Syrah wines.  The property is a restaurant and serves up delicious authentic bites from Spain.  This allows for the family to import and sell their Rioja alongside the Washington wine.  

Valdemar Estates Syrah for the win or the Wen!

Their first vintage of Syrah is the 2017 and it is only available to Club Members, but you can taste it in the winery.  The tasting of the 2017 Blue Mountain Syrah blew my mind and I can’t wait for it to lay down for a bit.  A little more time in bottle and this will be a force to reckon with Walla Walla Syrah. 

Give your palate something different:

Does your palete need a break when you are in the Walla Walla Valley? You need to stop into Valdemar Estates where you don’t need your passport to get the taste of Rioja in your glass.  

Looking for more on Walla Walla?  Check out this article: Exploring the wine in Walla Walla, Washington


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