Wineries in 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 to 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, which is a true destination.
Upon arrival, the 13,800-square-foot lodge begs to be noticed first. The rustic yet elegant lodge features eight guest rooms with a ninth room in a cabana house, a gourmet kitchen, two dining rooms, and a game room. Often reserved for friends, family, and small corporate groups, the lodge provides a sublime retreat.
Justin Basel, who has lived on the property of the estate vineyards since he was 13, has worked hands-on in the wine production part of the family business for several years. He creates world-class wines in limited quantities. “Knowing the Walla Walla fruit through personal experience, along with my education, has made me realize Washington’s fantastic agriculture opportunities,” Justin says. “This has really given me the insight and knowledge to produce outstanding wines.” Currently, Justin sources 70
percent of his grapes from Pheasant Run, a sustainable estate vineyard located in the heart of the south end of the Walla Walla appellation.
Visitors savor the winery’s unique view from the tasting room’s inviting patio as they sample 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 Wine & 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:
‘07 Claret Cranberry, pomegranate, cherries, velvety finish $20
‘07 Forget-Me-Not White Lemongrass, grapefruit, pear, kiwi $18
‘06 Merriment Cherries, plums, cedar, espresso $48
‘07 Earth Series (Volume One) Merlot, Carménère, Petit Verdot, Malbec. Ripe, robust $16
509.522.0200; Fax: 509.522.0996 baselcellars.com
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 1 mile on the left.
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