Abeja founders Ken and Ginger Harrison came to Walla Walla Valley in the late 1990s in search of land suitable for planting world class Cabernet Sauvignon. It was while searching for an ideal vineyard location that the couple discovered an extraordinary historic farmstead that captured their hearts and sparked their imagination. The idea for Abeja took hold. Not only was the property suited for grape growing and winemaking, but by restoring the farmstead’s existing buildings, the Harrisons saw the opportunity to preserve the property’s rich heritage while creating a one-of-a-kind Walla Walla wine country destination. Ken and Ginger purchased the farmstead in 2000 and made Abeja’s first Cabernet Sauvignon in 2001.
Today, Abeja is the realization of the Harrisons' vision. Surrounded by 38-acres of creeks, gardens and vineyards, the estate is home to the award-winning Abeja winery and tasting room (open by appointment), upscale lodging, fine dining, and private events.
Husband and wife winemakers Daniel Wampfler and Amy Alvarez-Wampfler craft Abeja's acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot as well as the winery's sought-after, limited-release estate and reserve wines. The winery’s sustainably farmed vineyards, Skysill, Heather Hill and Mill Creek, are the cornerstone of all the wines. Drawing on the model of European winemakers, Abeja was founded on the belief that estate grown fruit not only differentiates a wine but also strengthens the winemaker's ability to make a consistent style and offer exceptional quality.
Stylistically, Abeja’s goal is to produce balanced wine with a solid framework of tannin and acidity that is filled with pure, lush, fruit, a richness in the mid palate, elegant integrated oak, moderate alcohol levels and a generous finish. This is accomplished by employing meticulous viticultural management; gentle handling of the fruit; customized fermentation and aging practices for every lot; and carefully selected French oak barrels.
Adjacent to the winery is The Inn at Abeja, providing year-round lodging for those seeking a restorative, one-of-a-kind wine country experience. The property’s original outbuildings have been meticulously restored to welcome overnight guests with a unique mix of private cottages, rooms, and suites. With an emphasis on impeccable hospitality, Abeja invites guests to marvel at the property’s rich history while enjoying modern comforts and world-class wines that define an unforgettable wine country retreat. Overnight stays include a 2-course country breakfast and wine tasting.
The property is also home to The Kitchen at Abeja, an elegant fine dining experience celebrating innovative wine country cuisine. The menu melds refined culinary excellence with fresh, seasonal Pacific Northwest ingredients. The Kitchen offers guests a choice of a five or seven-course prix fixe menu, as well as an optional wine pairing menu designed in collaboration with Abeja’s winemakers. The menus are updated weekly.
The name Abeja (pronounced “ah-BAY-ha”) is Spanish for a bee. It was chosen to honor a deep-rooted respect for the environment and as a reminder of the importance of working together in a community.
Daniel Wampfler brings two decades of winemaking experience to Abeja. He and his wife, Amy Alvarez-Wampfler, an accomplished winemaker in her own right, joined Abeja in 2016. Together the couple collaborates on all aspects of winemaking and oversees Abeja’s Walla Walla Valley estate vineyards while independently leading other areas of the business. As general manager, Dan is responsible for guest lodging at The Inn at Abeja, weddings and private events, and sales distribution.
Dan came to Washington State in 2003 as a research enologist for Chateau Ste. Michelle quickly stepping beyond the lab to the cellar to assist with all aspects of winemaking at Chateau Ste. Michelle’s 400,000-case Canoe Ridge Estate Winery. In 2006, the company promoted him to assistant winemaker at Columbia Crest. As a member of a winemaking team responsible for crushing, fermenting, aging, blending, and bottling 14,000 tons of red grapes, his appreciation for the vineyards of the Columbia Valley grew exponentially.
He left Columbia Crest in 2008 to join Dunham Cellars in Walla Walla. During his eight years there, Dan managed all aspects of winemaking and vineyard management before moving to Abeja.
Born and raised in the Midwest, Dan’s dad encouraged his son’s aptitude for science. The two began brewing beer together while Dan was still in high school, piquing an interest in fermentation science. Dan attended Michigan State University with plans to study chemistry but soon began to wonder if a career in a white lab coat suited him. A chance meeting with a professor leading wine grape research at Michigan State led to his decision to study enology. He earned a bachelor of science in 2001 and a master’s in 2003.
In addition to making wines at Abeja, Dan has served as winemaker for actor Kyle MacLachlan’s Pursued by Bear label since 2008.
Dan and Amy live in Walla Walla. They have two daughters.
Amy Alvarez-Wampfler began making wine at Columbia Crest in 2005. She spent four years as the winery’s white wine enologist, managing over 10,000 barrels of Chardonnay annually before leaving to join Sinclair Estate Vineyard, a Walla Walla start-up where she served as winemaker and general manager for six years.
In January 2016, Amy and her husband and fellow winemaker Dan Wampfler joined Abeja to fulfill their lifelong dream of making wine together. The couple shares winemaking and general manager duties at Abeja, collaborating on all aspects of winemaking while independently overseeing other areas of the business. As general manager, Amy is responsible for Abeja’s tasting room, direct-to-consumer marketing and sales, and fine dining at The Kitchen at Abeja.
Amy holds an associate’s degree in applied arts and science in enology and viticulture from Walla Walla Community College. She is an active educational board member for Altera, a group working to advance social equity in education, particularly in rural areas.
She and Dan live in Walla Walla. They have two daughters.
This is the varietal that we believe will increasingly be recognized as the icon varietal of Washington State and comprises the majority of our production. This Cabernet is stylish, elegant, and impeccably balanced. We accomplish this by meticulous viticultural management, utilization of a rare sorting system, gentle handling of the fruit and the wine, customized practices for every lot no matter how small, and carefully selected French oak.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve Bottling
At Abeja, a reserve is a wine of very limited production that reflects the absolute best of an outstanding vintage. We select our favorite barrels from our finest lots and blend them to make a wine that captures the special nature of the vintage and embodies our vision of classic Cabernet Sauvignon produced from grapes grown in Washington State.
Walla Walla Valley
One hundred percent estate grown
The fruit for this wine is grown at an elevation of 1310 feet on the grounds of the Winery. The higher elevation and the proximity to the Blue Mountains, gives this vineyard a longer, cooler ripening season than most other areas of the Walla Walla Appellation. The cooler site results in a style much like that of a classic Northern Rhone with complexity and balance without the concentration and higher alcohol levels of Syrah produced in warmer areas.
Carefully chosen cool climate sites provide the fruit for this Chardonnay. We then employ all of the traditional techniques: whole cluster pressing, barrel fermentation, and aging sur lie. The result is a Chardonnay with elegance and richness that is balanced with nice acidity making it an excellent companion to food.