The most comprehensive map of Walla Walla Valley wineries yet hit the streets in December.
From Dayton to downtown Walla Walla and Milton-Freewater to Touchet, every tasting room has been listed and plotted. But officials are most excited about the new format that not only allows constant updates as new tasting rooms open, but assures that the one thing visitors won't have to search hard for is the map itself.
Available at local hotels, each side of the double-sided tear-off sheets highlights a region of Walla Walla's Wine Country: downtown, west, south and east. The maps are also available in PDF form online. The online format enables tourism and city officials to update the map instantly if a change in a winery's status occurs.
As new wineries open their doors, the city's GIS team, led by Chris Owen, can easily update the map.
"It's a telephone call," said Tourism Walla Walla Chief Executive Officer Michael Davidson.
Tourism Walla Walla staff and board members partnered with city of Walla Walla staff to produce the publication in time for Holiday Barrel Tasting weekend in early December. The timing was intended to make sure plenty of maps would be available, officials said in an announcement.
"I think it offers the opportunity to make it easier for people to begin to plan," Tourism Walla Walla Chief Executive Officer Michael Davidson said. "We can provide visitors with good information to help them plan their trips. Provide a little more structure."
With so many wineries and so many newcomers to town, the map is intended to help visitors organize their tasting trips.
"The point was to be able to get people to wineries in as easy a manner as possible," Davidson explained. "Somebody thinks they can go from L'Ecole to Dunham Cellars to Pepper Bridge all in an hour and a half -- it's not really realistic."
Michele Rennie, Tourism Walla Walla's board chairwoman, compiled the list of wineries. Tourism Walla Walla partnered with the city's Geographic Information System team to create the map, which includes the addresses of wineries and telephone numbers.
The $2,100 project was printed by Color Press. The initial run was 20,000 copies printed in tear-sheet format and available at the Tourism Walla Walla Visitor Center, 26 E. Main St., major hotels, bed-and-breakfasts and the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce.