Gordy Venneri and Myles Anderson

Walla Walla Vintners started in 1995 when pioneering winemakers, Gordy Venneri and Myles Anderson established the eighth winery in what would become one of Washington’s most celebrated appellations. Over the next two decades, we earned a reputation for our sustainably and traditionally crafted, elegant and ageworthy wines served in a beautifully rustic and friendly setting (on a picturesque plateau in the shadow of the Blue Mountains). In 2016, we were honored to be named “Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year” by Wine Press Northwest.  And we began a new chapter a year later, when Myles decided it was time to officially retire and Gordy welcomed the Haladay family as co-owners, continuing our tradition of being operated in partnership.

Today, Gordy and General Manager, Scott Haladay, are working in concert to envision the next 20 years for Walla Walla Vintners while maintaining our important traditions and enhancing the guest experience.  Gordy directs winemaking and grower relations, and Scott oversees strategy, marketing and sales.

We treat our guests as friends at Walla Walla Vintners. Join us in our red barn Fridays, Saturdays and by appointment.

Our Beginnings

Our story began in 1981 with two pals who started as winemaking hobbyists. Gordy Venneri is a second-generation Walla Wallan and former insurance salesman whose roots go back to the small southern Italian village of Serra Pedace in Calabria. His inspiration was a life-changing trip to meet his Italian relatives who shared their homemade wine. Dr. Myles Anderson was a college professor and administrator who enjoyed wine and started making small amounts for fun.

Gordy and Myles found themselves in the elite company of Walla Walla’s pioneering winemakers including Gary Figgins of Leonetti and Rick Small of Woodward Canyon.  Fifteen years later with much experimentation and industry collaboration instructing them, and praise for the wines growing, they founded Walla Walla Vintners in 1995 with 675 cases.

Over the years, the partners kept their focus on limited production, labor-intensive, hand-crafted, high quality and elegant Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Sangiovese. Respected wine critic and writer, Paul Gregutt, describes their wines as “seductive, soft and round in the Leonetti mold.”

The tradition of a humble approach and special commitment to Walla Walla and fellow wine makers remains. Gordy and Myles are well known for their generous, collaborative spirit, sharing their knowledge with other wineries – describing their philosophy as “competing creatively.” That belief in helping others and giving back inspired Myles to help create the Institute for Enology and Viticulture at Walla Walla Community College. And it motivated them to assist other wineries as they were getting their start including K Vintners, Spring Valley Vineyards, College Cellars and àMaurice.

Before retiring in early 2017, Dr. Myles Anderson was inducted into the Legends of Washington Wine Hall of Fame in 2011 and awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers in 2014.  He and Gordy shared the honor of being named “2016 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year” by Wine Press Northwest.

Our Next Chapter

When co-founder, Myles Anderson, decided to retire, Gordy Venneri began envisioning the next 20-year chapter for Walla Walla Vintners.  He wasn’t ready to retire, so he started searching for a partner with demonstrated business experience — particularly in enhancing established companies, and a skill set that would complement his first loves of winery operations, logistics and customer service.  During the summer of 2016, a mutual friend introduced Gordy to Scott Haladay and his family, who were looking to collaborate in a Washington winery with even more potential.

After getting to know each other for six months, Gordy and Scott recognized that they would work well together given that they share many of the same values as well as complimentary skills.  Their owner partnership became official in February 2017.

Scott is thrilled by the opportunity to work alongside an industry icon while realizing his dream of operating an established winery, and he and his wife, Nici, are looking forward to raising their young family in the Walla Walla community. Gordy is happy to have a new partner and General Manager who will help elevate Walla Walla Vintners’ presence given Scott’s 20 years of experience in technology, sales, branding and marketing, including 10 years spent developing software for beverage distributors.

Together they will focus on building our legacy by enhancing our customer experience while maintaining many important Walla Walla Vintners traditions like our pioneering history, elegant wines and humble approach.  Our initial plans for 2017 include refreshing our packaging, updating our iconic red barn tasting room with new interior comforts and adding outdoor entertaining space.