New winery in Milton Freewater, OR in the Walla Walla AVA that is an absolute must-visit!
A scenic winery with stunning grounds, amazing wine, floofy pups, and the kindest people ever
September 2022 marked our fourth visit to Walla Walla, WA. We broke a lot of our own rules on our most recent family trip to this amazing wine/food/beer destination. Because we make it over to this area only once a year, we typically don't do a ton of revisiting to wineries and breweries that we have spent time at in previous years. Not because they aren't incredible (they are!) - but because there are SO many places to visit and try! There are, of course, exceptions to this "rule." However, never have we ever visited a destination TWICE in the same weekend...until this trip. That is exactly what happened at Mongata Winery. And best you believe that we will be back for another visit during our 2023 trip. Read along to understand why, and then book your own visit there ASAP!
Tots Mom is a freak for research (yes, I'm speaking about myself in the third-person but just roll with it, okay?) So when it comes time to start mapping out adventures for Walla Walla each year, her research shifts into overdrive. She takes into account a lot of things when selecting wineries, breweries, and restaurants to visit, including tot-friendly amenities, outdoor space, grape varietals, unique menus, and general awesome vibes. When she saw the new Mongata Winery pop up on her social feed, she knew that this spot was a must visit!
This year's Walla Walla trip was a bit more complex than it has been in the past. About a week before our trip (which we had booked nearly a year in advance!) an insane stomach bug ravaged the home of Tots Mom & Tots Dad which included our little ones, too. Not awesome at all. It was dicey that we would even be able to make the trip. But by some miracle, we awoke on the morning of our travel day and felt up for the journey.
Mongata Winery was on the itinerary for our first full-day of wine tasting. Unfortunately, Tots Mom, Tot #3, and Tots Grandpa were still not feeling their best. So it was just Tots Dad, Tots Grandma, and Tot #2 that made the trip that day. Tots Mom had major #FOMO but was happy that at least some of the group would get to visit. Flash forward to when the group arrived back home and those feelings of #FOMO quadrupled - Mongata Winery had far exceeded everyone's expectations!! The photos that Tots Dad took of the space were unreal. The wine brought back to the rental house was out of this world, particularly the Cab Franc rosé (which we bought the last four remaining bottles of, sorry all.) So, the full Tots Crew then made it our mission to make it out to Mongata on Sunday when everyone was feeling up for it.
Sunday arrived and we all piled into the Space Van and made our way out to Mongata Winery. It is a scenic, stunningly beautiful drive south of Walla Walla to the Oregon side of the AVA through the small town of Milton Freewater. The road takes you along a fork of the Walla Walla River and into a lush green canyon. Trust me when I say that the drive is worth it, 10000%. Best to schedule your visit to Mongata Winery as your first tasting of the day so that you can then make your way back to Walla Walla and hit up a few other wineries on your way back into town. Need recommendations? We have a few here.
When you arrive at Mongata, you are immediately greeted by Brix and Cooper. These gigantic "puppies" are Great Pyrenees doggos that roam the property freely. They are the sweetest dogs ever and LOVE kids. Our Tots had the best time petting them and feeding them dog biscuits. When I come back in my next life, I'd like to come back as a winery dog, preferably at Mongata.
Vicki and Scott are the owners of Mongata Winery, and their tasting room just opened in June 2022. I challenge you to find a more down-to-Earth, lovely couple out there. Vicki is a former art educator and Scott is one of those "Jack of all trades" kind of guys who has been busy restoring the property's historic barn turned tasting room, board by board. It's truly breathtaking. We can't wait to visit next year when the barn is fully complete. The couple has some awesome plans for the property which includes adding more green space adjacent to the patio and growing the winery's event and live music calendar. We love the sounds of all of this! The name Mongata is Vicki and Scott's twist on a Swedish word (Mångata) which in literal translation means “moon street or path of the moon.” During the summer, they stay open late on Fridays for winetasting by moonlight, under the stars. How dreamy does that sound?!
We sat inside the historic barn for our visit as it was mid-day and quite warm outside. The ambiance is cozy and comfortable, with eclectic furnishings to accommodate the size and unique needs of any group. Our Tots quickly made themselves at home and had a blast exploring the property and eating the delicious blueberries provided by Vicki. We had the opportunity to visit with Vicki and Scott during our entire visit - so many amazing stories were shared. Their story of acquiring the property is truly amazing - one of those serendipitous right place, right time kind of tales. Be sure to ask them about it during your tasting.
Sometimes, I get so caught up in details of a noteworthy visit to a gorgeous place that I almost forget to talk about the wine. Well, it does not disappoint. Resurgence Vineyard, where Mongata Winery sits, sells grapes to a bunch of other wineries locally. And for good reason. Stellar varietals in every regard. Tastings come with some paired nibbles, too! The Mongata's label is very new and there were four wines for us to taste on our visit (now three since we bought the last of that amazing rosé, hehehe) - Rosé of Cab Franc, Rosé of Syrah, Estate Syrah, and Estate Cab Sauv. Watch out because they have some really fun things coming down the pike in the next year or so. Another reason why we already can't wait to come back. And speaking of labels, take a close look at them because they are simply gorgeous - owner Vicki is the artist!
However, there is one, really, really big problem at Mongata - there's actually TOO many options for places onsite to sip your wine. I mean, come on you guys! The historic barn is to die for, their patio is lovely, they have an amazing green space with Adirondack chairs and cozy firepit, and...their property even flanks the river and you can walk down there for a picturesque picnic! Wine tasting at Mongata really is rough, sigh. Pro-tip, if you grab some dog biscuits, those tiny little pups will follow you down there!
So, do you see now why the Tots Crew had to make a return visit to Mongata? But please, do not take my word for it. Give Mongata a call, or book your tasting online, and get your butts down there to experience all the magic first hand.
Thanks for everything, Vicki and Scott! See y'all next year!
What to expect when you visit:
Owners Vicki and Scott are beyond delightful
Indoor and outdoor seating options, including historic barn, patio, and grassy space
Amazing wine - and much more on the way!
Lawn games for kids (and kids at heart!)
Coloring sheets and crayons for little ones
Small nibbles provided to accompany your tasting
Two fluffy, sweet as honey Great Pyrenees dogs roam the property and they love pets and treats!
No high chairs or changing tables so plan accordingly
Website: Mongata Winery
Hours: By appointment, with amazing visit experiences listed on their website
Address: 81768 S Fork Walla Walla River Rd, Milton-Freewater, OR 97862