Justin Wylie got the name of his winery from an old Italian proverb, “Chi Va Piano Va Sano e Va Lontano,” which means he who goes slowly goes safely and goes far. He uses that same phrase to describe his philosophy when it comes to making wine.
Located in Walla Walla, Wylie’s Va Piano Vineyards produces five flights of wine that range from every day drinkers like Bruno’s Cabernet Sauvignon and the Ox Red Blend to an estate designated series only members of its wine club can buy.
Wylie drew the inspiration to make these wines from spending his childhood in Walla Walla and watching his hometown blossom into the wine lover’s paradise it is now. He followed this inspiration by learning whatever he could from the region’s wine makers, wine growers and wine connoisseurs. He developed his palate, made wine out of his garage and with help from friends and family members started Va Piano’s first commercial crush in 2003.
Va Piano now produces about 4,000 cases of wine each year and has tasting rooms at its Walla Walla location and The Historic Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane. It also has a third tasting room in Bend – a city Wylie and his family visit for their vacations – at a storefront in the Old Mill District that has a patio butting up against the Deschutes River.
“I think I’m going to reach a whole new demographic here,” Wylie told a reporter from The Bulletin when asked why he’d want to open a tasting room in an area where beer seems to be the beverage of choice.
“I want people to walk away from here with a great experience and an improved knowledge of wine,” he said. “Let’s take down that wall and make wine approachable and fun.”
Come join us for a sampling of Wiley’s wines and do your part to take down that wall at The Good Drop Wine Shoppe this Friday, July 28, from 5 to 8 p.m. Tasting flights typically cost $10 per person, but this fee waived for wine club members or if you purchase a bottle of wine at the event.