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Valdemar becomes first solo European winery to launch in Walla Walla

Published:  28 November, 2019

Rioja producer Valdemar Family Wine Estates has opened Washington State’s first internationally owned winery in Walla Walla, marking a major milestone in the region’s evolution as an internationally recognised wine region.

The move marks Washington’s first solo investment from a non-American winery, with Valdemar intending to begin importing in Europe in Autumn 2020 and the UK pinpointed as a priority market.

The Valdemar investment followed a series of overseas interest and involvement, which had "played a great role of our story”, said Steve Warner, President of Washington State Wine.

He anticipated Valdemar’s arrival would "attract even more national and international interest in the years ahead”.

“Washington is a playground full of different possibilities and we look forward to working with all of our wineries to develop more global connections for our state.”

Valdemar, owned by Jesus Martinez Bujanda Mora - fifth generation Valdemar family, said it had been looking for a “unique region to develop a new project”.

“I knew about Washington State’s potential due to my studies in Seattle. This is a unique place to anywhere else in the world in terms of its diversity with amazing vineyards and wines but also with an amazing community that has welcomed us with open arms since day one,” said Mora.

Washington is home to many other European-born winemakers and several partnerships, including Col Solare, which brings together Tuscany's Marchesi Antinori and Washington State's Chateau Ste. Michelle.

The region has also drawn researchers through the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center, which Valdemar has partnered with to explore educational opportunities for international collaboration in the field of wine science, including grape and wine production as well as internship opportunities in Washington and Spain.