WASHINGTON — Washington’s Walla Walla Valley is on a mission to defend its title as “America’s Best Wine Region,” a designation they’ve held for two years running. Looking for the contest’s first “three-peat,” Walla Walla Valley was again named a finalist for USA Today’s “10Best” Readers’ Choice Awards this year, kicking off a one-month public voting period.
Having won the top spot in 2020 and 2021, the valley is also a frequent finalist, having made the top 20 every year since 2018.
“We’re thrilled to be named a finalist for the fifth consecutive year, and are hopeful that the momentum our industry and community have worked hard to build will propel us to a third consecutive title as America’s Best Wine Region,” said Robert Hansen, executive director of Walla Walla Valley Wine, in June. “A public voting competition is particularly rewarding because it represents the very people who are visiting Walla Walla, drinking our wines at home, or hearing about us from friends and family. At the end of the day, their endorsement of the Walla Walla Valley’s wines and experiences is what makes us proud.”
USA Today notes Walla Walla Valley has been wine country since the 1850s, when Italian immigrants began growing grapes there, and now boasts more than 100 wineries. Heading into the final stretch, Walla Walla is at the top of the heap, leading three regions of California and well ahead of neighboring Oregon.
The contest also features a handful of other categories with Washington wineries in the running, including Best Wine Tasting Room, where Woodinville’s Chateau St. Michelle and Walla Walla’s Long Shadows Vintners are among the finalists.
Readers can check the live leaderboards until the voting window closes at 8:59 a.m. on July 18.
Source: Bellevue Patch