Mid-Columbia Insurance Agency – Walla Walla
Before wine tourism Walla Walla was often known as the “town so nice they named it twice”. Walla Walla is a Native American name that means “Place of Many Waters”. The population of Walla Walla and its surrounding area including the town of College Place and unincorporated “East Walla Walla” is about 45,000. Walla Walla is in the far southeastern corner of Washington state, less than six miles from the Oregon border and 50 miles from the Idaho border. By car, Portland, Oregon is approximately four hours away along the Columbia River and Seattle, on the opposite corner of the state, is approximately four and half hours away.
The origins of Walla Walla at its present site begin with the establishment of Fort Walla Walla by the US Army in 1856. The Walla Walla River, where it adjoins the Columbia River (present day Walulla), was the starting point for the Mullan Road connecting the Columbia River with the Missouri-Mississippi Rivers at Fort Benton, Montana, thus connecting the west coast of the US with the east and gulf coasts.
As a result of a gold rush in Idaho during the 1860s, the city became the largest community in the Washinton Territories and at one point was slated to be the new state’s capital. Agriculture ended up becoming the city’s primary industry. As one of the most fertile agricultural areas in the nation, The Walla Walla area yields abundant wheat, asparagus, strawberries, and the famous Walla Walla Sweet Onions. Today, however, Walla Walla is known as wine country.
People return to Walla Walla again and again to visit the wineries, with more than 120 wineries in the area, you cannot sample but a handful per visit! Walla Walla Wine Country still has that home town feeling, offering visitors the rare opportunity to meet the winemakers, vintners, and family members who are carrying on the wine tradition.