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Yellowhawk Resort

We've reported before about the purchase of Basel Cellars and plans for the property by Revelers Club (Fire and Vine Hospitality). Now we've been there, tasted the bubbles, and seen the boards outlining what will happen. Pretty impressive.

First off, it's all sparkling and bubbles from winemaker George-Anne Robertson (at left) who came on board in May 2021. She had been the estate director of Walla Walla Vintners and a graduate of the Institute for Enology and Viticulture at Walla Walla Community College. She arrived in Japan to become the sparkling winemaker for Fuji-San when the pandemic hit and was told the rules had changed and she had to go back. Fifteen minutes later she was doing the flight in reverse. As it turned out, it was a good thing, as Yellowhawk ownership called to talk to her about it becoming the only dedicated sparkling house in Walla Walla. "We had wine on site that we used and bought some, too, and it became a blending project to make our June 15 goal a reality," says George-Anne. "The bubbles, white, rose, and red, are all made with forced carbonation."

The white bubbles are a blend of Riesling (75%) and Pinot Gris (25%) from the Columbia Valley. "This is an extra brut with five grams of sugar per liter; high acid with a floral note, perfect for a welcome drink or brunch," says George-Anne. "The rose bubbles are a Rhone blend-Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah-with a little more sugar, 9%, bottled in Quincy. Red bubbles are quite dry, with just two grams of sugar per liter. This is an estate Syrah with some Viognier, bottled here. The tannins eat the bubbles up, so we do small pours so people can taste it before the bubbles dissipate. Bubbles amplify the flavor."

Their 2019 Sparkling Semillon is made in the traditional method and has five grams of sugar per liter. Semillon grapes are from the Yellowhawk Double River estate vineyard and has crisp, tiny bubbles.

Overall, Yellowhawk sits on 84 acres now. As Managing Partner Dan Thiessen explains, longer term plans include:

  • A farm stand open to the community stocked with produce they grow on site as well as food produced by others in the Walla Walla Valley. There will also be a line of canned goods, like ver jus with pickled beets.
  • Green houses and a small barn where kids can gather grain and pick eggs.
  • Bungalows throughout the property, country style, King suites, fireplaces, Adirondack chairs. Valet golf carts to move guests around.

Living area in current set up

  • Wedding venue for 375 people. They'll remove vines and add grass. Another area will accommodate 175.
  • Although beautiful as is, the house and turret will change. The turret will become the spot where the curated tasting experience begins.
  • There will be 16 cabanas pads by springtime where people can enjoy massages and tastings.
  • A restaurant hyper-focused on farm-to-fork concept will seat 50 with an open kitchen. Dinner plus brunch on weekends for guests and general public.
  • The main house will become a club house and will include a day spa that guests and the general public can enjoy.
  • The former garage that housed a car collection and wine has become an event space. It can be used for smaller tastings or accommodate 350 seated. Their mobile kitchens will be on hand.


Yellowhawk Resort
2901 Old Milton Highway
Walla Walla, WA 99362

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