Nine Hats has opened a tasting room in Walla Walla. The tasting room officially opened May 3rd for Spring Release Weekend.

“We’ve always been interested in having a presence for Nine Hats in Walla Walla,” says Dane Narbaitz, president of Nine Hats. “This is a great opportunity for us.”

The Nine Hats tasting room is located downtown inside the Marcus Whitman Hotel. The space has seating for 18 people and total occupancy close to 25. Wines will be offered in flights as well as by the glass or bottle.

“The area gets so much foot traffic and exposure to a lot of out of town guests,” Narbaitz says of the location. “We get to tell the Nine Hats story, direct customers to Long Shadows, and vice versa.”

Nine Hats started in 2007 as a second label for Long Shadows, a luxury brand founded by former Ste. Michelle Wine Estates CEO Allen Shoup. (Shoup passed away in 2022.) Nine Hats, which focuses on everyday wines, gets its name from the winemakers who partner with Long Shadows director of winemaking and viticulture, Gilles Nicault.

“We started with just one SKU,” says Narbaitz, who also serves as president and CEO at Long Shadows.

Initially, that wine was made exclusively from declassified Long Shadows barrels. It was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Syrah.

Over the years, Nine Hats has blossomed. The winery continues to make a red blend but now also has a series of red and white varietal wines. The offerings are still comprised of declassified Long Shadows wine supplemented with other sources. Production has grown to approximately 23,000 cases annually.

“The brand got sneaky big,” says Narbaitz. “It took off.”

Originally, the Nine Hats wines were sold out of the Long Shadows tasting rooms in Woodinville and Walla Walla. In 2017, Nine Hats opened its first tasting room in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood. The tasting room is adjacent to Nine Pies Pizzeria, with the two businesses leveraging each other.

“We are able to serve Nine Pies pizza in the tasting room, and we serve all the Nine Hats wines in the pizzeria,” Narbaitz says.

The Nine Hats Walla Walla tasting room is open 12-7 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. The space was previously occupied by Mansion Creek Cellars.

In related news, Long Shadows moved to a new Woodinville tasting room in May of 2023. The tasting room is located on the former Red Hook Brewery campus.

The facility is spacious at 7,400-square feet. It also has an outdoor patio as well as a large amount of parking. Parking has been an issue for wineries in the nearby Hollywood area, where Long Shadows had its previous tasting room.

“It’s been extremely successful as far as improving challenges we faced with our previous space, primarily some of the size limitations,” says Narbaitz of the new location. “We can accommodate more guests, and it’s updated to be more in line with our style and our image.”

The Woodinville facility includes a wine club member room and also has a private dining room. The facility can accommodate up to 200 people. The space can also be rented for private events. At the tasting room, Long Shadows will soon be rolling out an “elevated tasting experience” with wine flights paired with specially curated small bites.

Fidélitas, Mark Ryan, and Latta have tasting rooms in the same structure. DeLille and Sparkman have tasting rooms and production facilities a stone’s throw away on the same campus. DeLille also operates a restaurant there.

Image courtesy of Nine Hats.

Northwest Wine Report is wholly subscriber funded and is my primary source of income. Please subscribe to support continued independent content and reviews on this site.

To receive articles via email, click here.