Abeja and its eight lodging options offer a Walla Walla Valley wine country experience that ranks among the best on the West Coast.

Portland businessman Ken Harrison and wife, Ginger, purchased their farm in 2000 after having stayed at what was then known as Mill Creek Inn, a property with a history that stretches back to 1863. To create Abeja, the Spanish word for bee and pronounced “ah-BAY-hah,” the Harrisons renovated each building and later established two vineyards, one along Mill Creek.

They launched their label with the 2001 vintage, and acclaim for Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay came almost immediately. The Harrisons create such a hospitable climate that they’ve worked with just two winemaking teams. John Abbott left in 2015 to make Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley, handing Abeja off to Daniel Wampfler of Dunham Cellars fame and wife Amy Alvarez-Wampfler, who shined at Sinclair Estate Vineyards. The Inn at Abeja affords privacy, yet the peaceful grounds create opportunities for guests to meet, starting in the farmhouse with a breakfast of Lemon Souffle Pancakes and Walla Walla Sweet Onion Quiche. An hour after breakfast, there is the first of three available wine tastings, which are exclusive to guests. They can purchase Abeja wines and can have them shipped to 30 states. For those using Alaska Airlines, a case of Abeja flies free.

Amenities include in-room spa services provided by a licensed massage therapist, and Abeja also works with two wine tour agencies. Make sure the driver swings into nearby Klicker Berries and Antiques for local produces.

Abeja describes itself as “an adult get-a-way with a working winery.” As a result, children under the age of 13 are not encouraged, and only one option on the estate is pet-friendly. Rates range from $325 to $1,500 per night.


At Alexandria “Ali” Nicole Boyle deserves credit with developing glamorous camping, aka “glamping,” in Washington wine country. It took root a decade ago with her tastefully appointed wall tents within her family’s 267-acre Destiny Ridge Vineyard, which offers panoramic views of both the Columbia River and the Horse Heaven Hills.

Her touches are felt throughout the brand she established in 2001 with her winemaking/grower husband, Jarrod, and they’ve transitioned from tents to 400-square-foot dwellings in 2015. Construction of two of the “tiny houses” was profiled on HGTV. All are within view of The Estate at Destiny Ridge, a luxurious three-story castle visible from Oregon.

The Horse Heaven Hills are home to about 20 percent of Washington’s vineyards, but there are no tourist amenities beyond these tiny houses. Furnishings include a wine chiller, private toilet and queen bed. The Jet Black House features an in-suite tap for one of ANC’s popular keg wines.

While the Boyles sell their 23 varieties of grapes to some of the Northwest’s top winemakers, Jarrod’s own juice earned him Wine Press Northwest magazine’s award for Washington Winery of the Year 2011. Five years later, his 2013 A Squared Cabernet Sauvignon, a second label, earned best of class at the 17th annual Platinum Judging. Jarrod grew up in Prosser and learned from industry leaders such as Wade Wolfe, Paul Champoux, David Minick and the Mercer family, so the critical acclaim for ANC wines comes as no surprise.

Glamping at ANC runs $250 for weekends, $200 weekdays, and includes a wine tasting. Alas, it’s not easy to make a reservation. Ali’s 4,000-member wine club dominates reservations from May through October for these four tony cottages, which have their own URL of


In 1983, Seattle neurosurgeon Vince Bryan and his wife, Carole, staged a concert for 1,200 people in a natural amphitheater to celebrate the launch of Champs de Brionne, their winery that used grapes from their young vines nearby.

Within a decade, the Bryans stopped making wine and sold the Gorge Amphitheater. But they held onto the vineyard praised by esteemed winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff. Their plantings now span 100 acres as part of the Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, an American Viticultural Area viewed as one of the Northwest’s prime growing regions, particularly for stylish and vibrant white wines.

Some of the world’s most recognized recording artists unwind during concert season at Cave B Estate Winery and the adjacent Cave B Inn & Spa Resort – a destination built by the Bryans. The award-winning winery is led by Alfredo Arredondo, their winemaking son-in-law.

There’s no need to dine anywhere other than Tendrils, a stone's throw away for most staying on the estate. Arredondo, a chef who trained in Italy, left the kitchen for Walla Walla Community College’s winemaking school, and his food-friendly wines such as Barbera, Roussanne and Sauvignon Blanc complement Tendrils’ cuisine because of their natural acidity and tamed alcohol. The Spa at Sagecliffe offers treatments that incorporate juice and seeds from the winemaking process, terroir components such stones and soil, and estate lavender.

Four distinctive lodging experiences are available throughout the 55-room complex. Those include the individual Cliffehouses, the almost subterranean Cavern Rooms, more traditional suites at the Cave B Inn and the Desert Yurts, almost within reach of some vines. The cliff-side swimming pool is open Memorial Day to Labor Day. Rates range from $119 to $429. and


The decade-long dream of vintner and vineyard owner Justin Wylie comes to life this spring when the luxury Eritage Resort opens in the Walla Walla Valley.

Its 10 suites, set among 300 acres of vineyards and wheat fields on the edge of the Palouse, combined with the players involved, have it positioned to be the most fascinating wine-themed lodging destination to open this decade in Washington. Wylie named the resort for the Old French word for heritage, and it fits. The founder of acclaimed Va Piano Vineyards is a fourth-generation native of Walla Walla, and he bought the Bergevin Springs Road property from another vintner with deep local roots. That was in 2007. Then came the Great Recession.

California investors breathed life to Wylie’s vision by 2014, and he’s now added partners in Seattle hospitality leaders Chad Mackay and Jason Wilson. Mackay is the second generation behind the wine-focused El Gaucho restaurants and the Inn at El Gaucho. Wilson, who won the James Beard Award for Best Northwest Chef in 2010, has earned a following in Seattle and Bellevue with Crush, Miller’s Guild and The Lakehouse. Both Mackay and Wilson are principals in Fire & Vine Hospitality, which manages Eritage.

Less than 10 minutes north of town along Lower Waitsburg Road and 12 minutes from the airport, Éritage Resort is dedicated to Walla Walla Valley wines (Eritage will have lots of Walla Walla Valley wines and plenty of old world wines too!) and regional ingredients. Wilson’s affinity for cooking with open flame will be apparent in the restaurant, which is intended to attract local winemakers, too.

Each suite offers an in-room fireplace and a deck that opens up to a view of vines, the Blue Mountains and a manmade lake ringed by a common area for small concerts, events and weddings. Construction has begun on a pool, pool house and 10 lakefront cottages near the young vines, which already are producing grapes for the likes of Napa Valley icons Cakebread and Duckhorn as well as Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Room rates will vary based on season and dates and will start at around $289.


The husband-wife winemaking team of Dean and Heather Neff spent about a decade living above their winery, looking out across the 7 acres of vines they planted and gazing upon the south shore of Lake Chelan.

In 2015, they decided to transform their residence and provide the public with a quintessential Lake Chelan wine country experience. They call it simply the Winery Guest House at Nefarious Cellars.

Nefarious quickly became one of the state’s cult wineries, and house guests often get the chance to meet Dean and/or Heather. Dean crafts reds. Heather dotes on the whites. Their love affair with grape vines began in 1998 near Chelan and took flight three years later in the Willamette Valley, working for premier Pinot Noir producers. By 2005, they’d moved back to the Columbia Valley, founded their winery and expanded their plantings that feature Syrah, Viognier and Riesling.

Their former home is two stories and 1,800-square-foot with two bedrooms, two baths, laundry facilities and flat screen TVs. A well-appointed kitchen includes Riedel stemware and million-dollar lake view with Defiance Vineyard in between.

And while their winery’s tasting room is just around the corner from the ground-floor patio, somehow the Neffs provide a reasonable level of privacy. Personal touches that hit the mark with guests include fresh-baked local cookies, locally roasted coffee and suggestions for restaurants and wineries.

Pets are not allowed, but children are welcome. There is private parking area for renters with a boat, and the gate to the estate closes with the tasting room.

Rates range from $275 to $375 per night, and booking is easy via VRBO. As of press time, the Neffs received a five-star rating from every reviewer in the two years of their listing.


Kevin evin and Holly Brown at Siren Song have created more than a winery, but rather a French Chateau which overlooks Lakeshore Road and provides a remarkable panoramic view of Lake Chelan. And your visit to the winery can lead into something overnight.

The Browns invested heavily in the Pacific Northwest wine industry in recent years with their showpiece winery, vineyard and tasting room in Chelan as well as partnering with famed Betz Family Winery on new plantings and vineyards in the Rocks District AVA of the Walla Walla Valley. Kevin, who made his mark in Seattle’s tech industry, now makes wine. His lineup includes: a Syrah, a Cabernet Franc, and two Cabernet Sauvignon wine from their Ancient Stones estate vineyard in the Rocks District AVA, a Zinfandel off the hedonistic Stone Tree Vineyard, and a stylish Sauvignon Blanc grown in the Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley

The Browns’ own estate vineyard on the south shore of Lake Chelan spans 7 acres and includes Albariño, Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah and the Pinot Noir that becomes The Muse - their sparkling wine.

Few properties in the Northwest can rival the veritable charm bracelet of scenes and memories that await guests at Siren Song. The Browns’ expansive veranda offers afternoon tableside service of award-winning wines paired with wood-fired pizza. It’s also an ideal stage for the Browns’ winemaker dinners accompanied by live music. Holly’s cooking classes were sought after when presented in West Seattle and online at She’s brought them to their winery on Sundays for a fee of $135.

This past winter, the Browns established The Villa at Siren Song, an 850-square-foot VRBO that offers a modern kitchen, two bedrooms, one bath and sleeps six within a few strides of the tasting room. Rates start at $300 per night with a two-night minimum.


Rick Johnson and the winery, innkeeping/vineyard operation he’s launched with his wife, Debbie, have been streamlined and undergone a facelift in the past year. That focus seems to be paying off both for guests and consumers.

Walla Faces Wine, Inns and Art began a decade ago when the Johnsons purchased the Hungate Building in downtown Walla Walla on Main Street. In 1905, that building was the Walla Walla Hotel. In 2005, the Johnsons reopened it and subsequently named it Walla Faces Inn. Recently, they closed that eclectic hotel, centering their hospitality on Walla Faces Inn at the Vineyard.

The constant piece for the Johnsons has been the 9-acre vineyard they purchased in 2006 along Wheat Ridge Lane. And what they dubbed as Walla Faces Estate Vineyard is now called Johnson Ridge Vineyard.

This year, the winery also rebranded as Johnson Ridge, and that label gained traction almost immediately as the Johnson Ridge 2014 Estate Syrah and Johnson Ridge 2016 Estate Rosé earned gold medals at the fifth annual Walla Walla Valley Wine Competition. Credit goes to winemaker Victor de la Luz and consultant Chris Camarda of Andrew Will Winery fame, who began collaborating before the 2013 vintage. And the label that featured avant-garde portraits has been refreshed.

Guests at the vineyard inn enjoy a peaceful environment east of town and north of HIghway 12 because the winery/tasting room are a short drive away at Port of Walla Walla incubator project near at the airport. There are four lodging options within Walla Faces Inn at The Vineyard – the Guest House, the Pool Suite, the Mountain East Suite and the smallest Mountain West Suite. Amenities include a swimming pool and hot tub, but only the Guest House offers kitchen facilities. Lodging rates range from $100 to $345, and pets are allowed.