Heading back to Seattle after spending the weekend in Walla Walla for Holiday Barrel Tasting.

Some impressions from the weekend. Overall, there were substantially fewer people at the wineries this year than in previous years. This was somewhat surprising as the weather, with the exception of Sunday, was the best it has been in years. Perhaps the low turnout can be attributed to the poor economy. Still, most wineries reported having sales, at least through the first half of the weekend, at or above last year’s.

We left out some favorites this time around in an attempt to hit a few more new wineries. Saturday we focused on the airport wineries. Wineries we visited included Walla Walla Vintners, K Vintners, Ensemble, Tamarack, Five Star, Elegante, Kontos, and Corliss Estates. Of the many standout wines, the new releases from K and the inaugural releases from Corliss were exceptional. Sunday we focused on wineries south of town and downtown. Wineries included Basel, Va Piano, Trust, Chateau Rollat, Hence, DaMa, Sapolil, Amavi, and Whitman. Again, a lot of very good wine with the 2007 Edouard barrel sample at Chateau Rollat being the standout.

I will write up all my tasting notes in my 2008 Holiday Barrel Tasting Report. I hope to have this out before the end of the year.