Abeja in Walla Walla had its first release with the 2001 vintage. Abeja was started in 2000 when Ken and Ginger Harrison stayed as guests at the historic inn on the Abeja propertys, then purchased the inn and the farm. In 2002 they were joined by John Abbot and Molly Galt, founders of Canoe Ridge Vineyard. John Abbott is the winemaker at Abeja. Abeja has estate vineyards in the Walla Wally Valley appellation, and also sources grapes from the Columbia Valley. The estate makes Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Viognier, Merlot and Chardonnay. Abeja wines typically earn ratings in the 90s from wine reviewers.
Columbia Valley AVA is larger than some states. At 18,000 square miles, or 11 million acres, the appellation covers almost half of Washington State and a small part of Oregon on the south side of the Columbia River. Established in 1984, Columbia Valley contains numerous sub appellations within its boundaries, including Yakima Valley AVA and Walla Walla AVA, both large and important wine districts. Columbia Valley AVA, generally called the Columbia Basin by Pacific Northwesterners, is in the Columbia River Plateau, and the AVA also includes a section of northeastern Oregon. There are dozens of microclimates within this appellation of about 7,000 vineyard acres. Many kinds of grapes are grown in the Columbia Valley, though the principal grapes planted are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, Syrah, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. Eastern Washington experiences very hot summers and cold winters, and the northern latitude means that Washington vineyards receive several more hours of sun in the summer than California vineyards. Grapes in Washington therefore have time to develop significant tannins and overall ripeness.