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Basel Cellars Estate Winery


The Estate House, which is now Basel Cellars Estate Winery, was completed in 1997 as a private home for the original owners who named it Double River Ranch. The home’s design is reminiscent of the casual grandeur found in American Lodges such as Timberline or Ahwahnee Lodge in Yosemite.

Within the estate house you will find a residential scale chef’s/catering kitchen, butler’s pantry, Australian Cypress wood bar and unforgettable views of the valley below. Other amenities include two fabulous living rooms and a lounge. The lounge includes a bar, stage, pool table and a large boardroom with seating for 14. Additionally, there is an in-house 8 seat big screen theatre in the lower level. Eight bedrooms welcome up to 16 guests in beauty and comfort. The master suite has 2,000 square feet of space, including a sitting room, large steam shower, two-person jetted tub plus a 6-person hot tub.


Basel Cellars had its beginnings in 2002. When the opportunity presented itself, local grape grower Greg Basel purchased the Estate House and the surrounding 85 acre Double River Ranch. Most of the unique custom features from the original house remain, including a gated entrance with grand driveway under a turreted bridge, 70,000 gallon pool with 2,048 square foot detached private cabana, and one-of-a-kind wood and stonework throughout the property.

At this site, Mr. Basel saw two vital components to create an estate winery. The first being nature. The rich soil and the hilltop position between Yellowhawk Creek and the Walla Walla River made for the perfect vineyard site. The second component was a man-made, 9600sq. ft., temperature controlled, subterranean structure (now referred to as "The Batcave") which had previously housed a car collection. The underground space was as perfect for winemaking as the caves of France! Plus, the idea of using the beautiful Estate home as a tasting room added to the appeal. And so, Basel Cellars Estate Winery was born when the Basel family began producing high caliber wines and transformed the stately lodge at the top of the hill into a wine country destination and event venue for many others to enjoy.


The Basels invited Steve and Jo Marie Hansen, acquaintances from their earlier careers, to visit and see their young operation with an eye to becoming partners. It was a good match. Steve, a long-time construction manager of major bridge and highway projects in the western US, grew up in a farming family in Yakima and brought an entrepreneurial spirit with him along with a love for the sunny side of the state.  


Steve and Jo Marie began transitioning to full ownership of the Ranch and the Estate. They truly enjoyed meeting guests and sharing with others the Basel Cellars wines and experiences that had captivated them since their first weekend visiting.


On December 30th, 2020, Basel Cellars Estate was purchased by a group of investors led by Walla Walla residents and business owners Dan Thiessen, Paul MacKay, and Philip Christofides. The trio founded the Walla Walla Steak Company and Crossbuck Brewing. Chad Mackay and Scott Clark, seasoned hospitality and business professionals round out the leadership team.

The new ownership group will continue to operate Basel Cellars Estate as an exceptional wine country lodging and event location while developing plans for further winery and hospitality expansion on the property.
2901 Old Milton Hwy
Walla Walla, WA 99362
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