Walla Walla Valley to gain sprawling destination winery

A 110-acre vineyard estate and sprawling Tudor-style home south of Walla Walla has new owners and a new destiny — to become a "destination" for retreats, weddings and private gatherings.

Greg and Becky Basel and their business partners, Henderson and Jolene Orchard, expect to take possession today of their new property on Old Milton Highway.

The estate was built in 1997 by Kyle and Lori Mussman, who put it up for sale last year as part of their divorce agreement. Real-estate investors Ron and Janet Wilkinson bought the Mussmans' home earlier this year at an auction for $2.1 million, according to Walla Walla County records. Greg Basel declined to disclose the purchase price from the Wilkinsons, until after the sale is officially recorded.

The Basels, who moved to Walla Walla six years ago from Vancouver, Wash., own Pheasant Run Vineyards south of the city. The Orchards own a local real-estate office.

Greg Basel said the Walla Walla Valley is widely known for its wines but has no winery that can host an on-site "never-ending wine experience'' with overnight accommodations and group meeting facilities.

The upper level of the 12,735-square-foot home will be used for private and corporate gatherings, Basel said. A bed-and-breakfast arrangement will sleep up to 22 people. The property also has a private theater, 70,000-gallon pool, 9,600-square-foot detached garage and 30 acres planted to grapes.

The basement will be converted into a winemaking facility and cellar room for two brands, Basel Cellars and Vierra Vineyards.

The Mussmans in recent years invested a reported $25 million to renovate the Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Walla Walla. Kyle Mussman continues to run the hotel.