A True Destination
Basel Cellars Estate Winery
Walla Walla, Washington
The exquisite steel gate at the start of a winding quarter-mile drive is the visitor's first indication that Basel Cellars Estate Winery provides a singular experience. Atop the hill stands an impressive set of buildings overlooking the 87-acre estate (26 are planted vineyard), the Walla Walla Valley, and the magnificent Blue Mountains. Owners Greg and Becky Basel started with the planting of Pheasant Run Vineyards in 1997, and in 2002 opened the doors to Basel Cellars Estate Winery. In 2004 Steve and Jo Marie Hansen joined the Basels as partners in this stunning lodge and tasting room, that is a true destination.
Upon arrival, the 13,800-square-foot lodge begs to be noticed first. Its rustic, yet elegant ambience was achieved through the use of stone and fine woods such as juniper, Australian cypress, and Montana red cedar. The lodge features eight guest rooms that comfortably sleep 16, with a ninth room in a cabana house, a gourmet kitchen, two dining rooms, and a downstairs game room, equipped with a pool table. Often reserved for overnight stays by groups of friends and family, and also used by small corporate groups, the lodge provides a sublime retreat to those longing to linger in Walla Walla wine country.
But the true realization--that Basel Cellars Estate Winery is well worth the visit--awaits in the estate's tasting room. Here 14 distinctive Basel Cellars wines are poured. With an emphasis on what Greg calls "quality vineyard control," his son, Justin Basel, creates and blends world-class wines in limited quantities. The grapes are grown in two Walla Walla vineyards: the 35-acre Pheasant Run Vineyard, located behind the Basel home; and the 26-acre Double River Vineyard, which can be admired by wine tourers from the tasting room's inviting patio. They savor the winery's unique view from here, as they savor the award-winning wines. For starters, Basel Cellars' 2004 and 2005 Syrahs both earned 93 points from Wine Enthusiast, and the 2004 Merlot was given 93 points by Wines & Spirits magazine. Basel Cellars Estate Winery provides a singular experience that wine lovers want to repeat every time they open a bottle of Basel Cellars wine.
What to Buy:
'06 Claret Cranberry, pomegranate, cherries, velvety finish $20
'07 Forget-Me-Not White Lemongrass, grapefruit, pear, kiwi $18
'05 Syrah, Walla Walla/Columbia Valleys Blueberry, plum, hints of raspberry, long, fine grain finish $28
'06 Reserve Cabernet Franc Sweet red fruits, herbal green tea, fine grain finish $36
509.522.0200; Fax: 509.522.0996
2901 Old Milton Hwy
Walla Walla, WA 99362
Tasting Room Open Daily 10-4
From Hwy 125 S, turn right onto Old Milton Hwy. From Hwy 125 N, turn left onto Old Milton Hwy. Winery is just less than one mile on the left.