Echolands Winery is making moves, announcing the grand opening of its first tasting room in Walla Walla, Washington, giving the fledgling winery a new means of interacting with its customers.
The tasting room at 7 West Alder Road is the first for Echolands, which is owned by St. Louis wine writer and Master Sommelier Doug Frost, who started the winery in 2018 with conservationist and investor Brad Bergman.
The announcement of the new tasting room’s opening was paired with the hiring of new Tasting Room Manager and official “head greeter” Allan Crum, former Cellar Master for Spring Valley Vineyards and a Washington resident since 2013.
Echolands’ first tasting room is stationed in a space that was formerly a Quizno’s sandwich shop and has undergone extensive renovations and improvements prior to its grand opening on January 7.
“At long last, we’re ready to welcome you in Walla Walla,” Frost said. “I suppose there is no business that ever stops being built; changes are created or simply happen, and brick by brick, byte by byte, bottle by bottle, the thing grows as much as it can or will.
“We can only say thanks to the people who are helping us build the new tasting room, the people who will work there, and the folks we hope will walk in the door and enjoy some part of it all.”
The 2,000-square foot tasting room has soaring 16-foot ceilings and windows that immediately invite guests in, and prioritizes table seating in lieu of an expansive wine tasting bar. Seating includes two walnut coffee tables, booths and a 10-foot elm communal table from local lumberyard, Jensen’s Hardwoods.
“In the middle of the room is a walnut set of four booths so people can sit right in the center of things and still benefit from private space,” Frost said. “We don’t have a wine bar because I’ve always hated restaurants and tasting rooms that place some massive chunk of furniture between the hosts and the guests.
“We want to shake your hand without having to lean over a bar.”
Other design elements include custom globe lights, a mirrored back splash and reclaimed oak floors.
Along with a complete lineup of Echolands Wines by-the-glass or by-the-flight, the tasting room will offer seasonal, house made natural juices served with two-inch ice cubes.
Echolands’ holdings include the 50-acre Taggert Vineyard located on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley and Mill Creek VIneyard, a 340-acre site located in the upland area of the Walla Walla AVA. Plans are underway to build a sustainable winery.