On wine tasting weekends, when your days are spent hopping from one winery to the next, it’s nice to be able to sit down and relax for a while before setting out for the day, or to come back and have a quiet break before dinner. Vine & Roses Bed & Breakfast in Walla Walla has created an ideal setting for such retreats just minutes away from downtown.
Opened in May 2010, Vine & Roses is an idyllic Victorian estate complete with romantic private suites, turret, verandah, and a creek and gardens. It has all the charm of an old “painted lady” with the amenities of a new luxury hotel.
Inspired by trips to wine regions in Italy and France, owners Tim and Kathy Sinclair dove in a few years ago and decided to start a bed and breakfast and winery. With their roots in Western Washington, they decided to head east to Walla Walla.
“Walla Walla is an amazing community for arts, music, great food, wonderful people and of course if you want some of the finest grapes and wine in Washington state, you will end up in Walla Walla,” Kathy Sinclair said.
When the couple found a 1893 Victorian home across from Pioneer Park, they knew it was the right spot for their bed and breakfast.
“The property was cute and romantic even before the renovation since it had natural fruit trees, a creek surrounding the property and the layout and flow of the house was excellent, creating a perfect setting for a Victorian B&B,” said Sinclair.
The couple wanted to combine the charm of a Victorian house with all the modern amenities that would make their bed and breakfast a special escape “miles away from the everyday,” as Sinclair puts it. Already a large house for the era at nearly 3,000 square feet, this home would eventually double in size in a way that would honor the original design elements and attributes of a house from its era.
“The renovation design did not significantly alter the original house, but instead added turrets and interesting rooms to the outside of the original house,” said Sinclair. “The bones of the house were excellent, so we took the house down to the studs and then recreated the house using similar materials for the flooring, etc., but utilized the latest modern amenities to provide the ultimate in creature comforts for guests.”
Those creature comforts include soundproof walls and solid wood doors that isolate noise, so that Vine & Roses guests have a quiet, provide retreat. The home is furnished with hand-carved antiques and decorated with lush fabrics and deep colors. The bathrooms feature spa-worthy travertine baths, surround showers, luxury soaking tubs, and marble fireplaces.
Each of the five suites has a French wine-related theme: Bordeaux, Rhone, Champagne, Burgundy, and Parisian, and the design process included trips to France to inspire decor that would convey the personalities of each region.
“People return to the B&B to try out different rooms to experience a new region,” said Sinclair, “which is one of the reasons so much effort was put into the research, planning and impeccable execution of each room.”
As for the wine, Tim and Kathy have hired Amy Alvarez-Wampfler as winemaker of Sinclair Estate Vineyards, which has a tasting room just over a mile away in Downtown Walla Walla. Alvarez-Wampfler seeks to make “Old World wine using new world technology,” said Sinclair, “starting with premium grape sources, most using sustainable farming practices, the finest oak barrels, 24 month aging, and diligence in the cellar. Most importantly she knows that fine wine is meant to be enjoyed with friends and family, and this is the focus–approachable wine to be shared.”
The approach to sharing something delicious with others carries into the southern-style breakfast spread as well. Vine & Roses’ breakfasts are lovely, with some dishes featuring produce harvested from the property’s fruit trees.
Vine & Roses Pear Clafouti
Recipe provided by Vine & Roses
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
3 extra large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1.5 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 or 3 ripe (but still firm) pears, Bartlett or D’Anjou
butter for greasing the baking dish
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Butter a 10-inch diameter round baking dish and sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of sugar on the bottom and sides.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a hand mixer) beat the eggs and 1/3 cup sugar on medium high speed for 3 minutes. With the mixer on low, mix in the flour, cream, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt, then set it aside.
4. Peel your pears, then quarter and core them. Slice them and slightly fan them out in the baking dish. Pour the batter over your pears.
5. Bake your clafouti until the top is golden brown and the custard is firm, about 35 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Enjoy!
Vine & Roses Pear Cake
Recipe provided by Vine & Roses
6 tablespoons unsalted butter – at room temperature
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg – optional
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon – optional
1 cup baker’s sugar
1 large egg
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound peeled and sliced fresh pears
2 tablespoons raw sugar – for the top
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 10-inch pie (or a 9-inch extra-deep pie pan). Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside. Combine butter and 3/4 cup sugar in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Mix in egg, buttermilk, vanilla. Add flour and mix to combine without over-mixing. Spread batter in the prepared dish. Arrange pears on top of the batter, gently pressing to partially submerge. Squeeze in as many pears as possible. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of raw sugar. Bake in oven until top is light golden and a knife inserted in the cake comes clean, about 1 hour. Cool in plate on a rack. Serve with almond flavored whipped cream. Enjoy!
Vine & Roses Bed & Breakfast
516 S Division St
Walla Walla, Wa 99362
Photos taken by Ted Wolfe and used with permission by Vine & Roses.