Skip to content
Home » Blog Catalog » Get to Know Kinhaven Winery & Vineyard in Walla Walla, WA

Get to Know Kinhaven Winery & Vineyard in Walla Walla, WA

Kasey and Cameron Davenport Kinhaven Winery

Setting the Scene Behind Kinhaven

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no cost to you. This income enables Meraki Travels to continue providing great content like this. Learn more on the Policies page!

Seated comfortably in the high desert of Walla Walla Valley is Kinhaven Winery, a vineyard and winery among the most elite in the region and rivaling some of the best in the country. In their own words, they are “…dedicated to making every experience as memorable and tasteful as [their] wines.”

In 2024, Walla Walla is home to over 130 wineries, making the town a paradise for wine-lovers and viticultural enthusiasts and contributing heavily to the region’s economy as well as its reputation as a luxurious vacation town. 

Grapes at Kinhaven Winery
Grapes at Kinhaven Winery – Photo by MaryRose Denton

Visitors may be fooled by the arid and seemingly barren terrain found at the base of the local mountain range, but the soil there supports an impressive and thriving viticulture industry, so much so that many refer to Walla Walla as “Washington’s Napa Valley” and the area produces some of the most prized vintages in the United States. 

The county rests between the famous Blue Mountains of Eastern Washington, affording Walla Walla and the surrounding region what’s called a “rain shadow effect,” where the mountains block clouds—and therefore life-bringing rainfall—that would otherwise wet the soil and benefit the local plantlife. The result is a rich, dry soil that happens to be perfectly suited to the cultivation of grapes. The unique terroir of the region has brought wine growers from all over the country and even the world, so when I say that Kinhaven is a must-have experience, I’m not exaggerating.

Arriving for an Afternoon in the Vines

During one of our periodic trips to Walla Walla, we had the pleasure of meeting Kasey and Cameron Davenport, the owners and managers of Kinhaven Winery. The wind was warm and the day would soon turn hot, and we looked forward to sampling the cool, delicious wines we knew we’d find here.

Monte Havanese Dog Official Greeter at Kinhaven Winery
Monte Havanese Dog – Official Greeter at Kinhaven Winery – Photo by MaryRose Denton

Meeting Our Hosts

As we got out of our car, the wind slowed to a delightful breeze and the only sound was the Davenports’ dog, a white Havanese, happily making his way across the parking lot, his tail wagging with ardor. We later learned that our new canine friend, Monte, is the official greeter of Kinhaven, and that he performs his duty with fervor. Monte led us faithfully to the sunken patio where Kasey and Cameron waited to greet us and show us the ropes of their “little” paradise.

Kinhaven’s outdoor seating area was intentionally built below ground level by about a foot so that entering it feels like sinking into a sea of vines 8 acres across. Though one might expect a claustrophobic feeling, the effect is actually surprisingly peaceful, like a loving embrace from the cultivated earth surrounding us.

The environment made settling in easy, and the five of us (including Monte) soon fell into a comfortable rapport among the gently rustling leaves and sun-patched shadows of the path. 

Kinhaven’s raison d’être has always been to create memorable moments, and I felt it happening in that place as we got to know each other over a glass of chilled Voignier, which made the perfect pairing for that warm summer afternoon. Kasey and Cameron told us the story of the winery from its conception to its current thriving state as a leading winery in the area. It was fascinating to hear as we sipped the fruits of their labor, specifically the sweet tones of peach, poached pear, and honeysuckle of the white wine that had been cultivated only a few feet from where we sat.

Outdoor Lounge Facing the Vineyard at Kinhaven Winery
Outdoor Lounge Facing the Vineyard at Kinhaven Winery – Photo by MaryRose Denton

Kinhaven’s Story

Terry and Lisa Davenport

The story of Kinhaven starts with Kasey’s parents, Terry and Lisa Davenport, who don’t even pretend to come from a line of winemakers. Starting out in the corporate world, they found themselves drawn to Kinhaven with its broad, sweeping landscape leading to the base of the Blue Mountains. 

In their words, “this place found us.” It was kismet, and they couldn’t stop thinking about it. And why not? The vineyard had already grown 20+ years of lush, fully matured vines and came with a fully equipped production facility, a beautiful tasting room, and all the makings of a beautiful future. All they had to do was say, “Yes.”

Combining Paradises

The Davenports’ purchase of Kinhaven turned out to be exactly what Kinhaven needed, too. Their history with the area gave them a personal reason to love this place, starting with their daughter’s enrollment at Whitman College. Specifically, they found themselves making frequent trips back and forth from their home on the west side of the Cascades to Walla Walla to visit her. Once, while they were here in the fall of 2015, they stumbled upon a 1909 neo-classical home just a block from the college campus, and saw a beautiful business venture.

The house needed some repairs, but they went further, completely restoring it and calling the resulting home Boyer House. Soon, it was open to the public and before long was booked more often than not, the dream debut for a burgeoning vacation rental home.

When the Davenports saw Kinhaven for the first time, they saw serendipity. They fell in love from the first and soon made the purchase. The newly restored Boyer House and the winery made the perfect combination. Guests staying at Boyer house could book wine tastings or host events at the winery, and visitors coming to sample Kinhaven’s vintages had a beautiful place to stay for the weekend!

Lisa Davenport is project manager to this day and Terry leads marketing and advertising for the two ventures. He’s also the designer for the label, creating their impeccable logo and other designs for the Kinhaven brand.

Kasey and Cameron Davenport Kinhaven Winery
Kasey and Cameron Davenport Kinhaven Winery – Photo by MaryRose Denton

Kasey and Cameron Davenport

As the oldest of the Davenport girls, Kasey grew up in a small Northern Michigan town, also Cameron’s home town. In fact, they attended the same grade school, but by young adulthood, their lives diverged as they followed different paths. It wasn’t until many years later that they met again in Miami Beach, where they both had blossoming careers. Their life together is full of kismet, it seems. 

Kasey was a wedding and event planner at the time, and would eventually launch her own brand, Kasey D Weddings. Cameron, meanwhile, worked his way up as a passionate gourmet cook on private yachts. Here, he learned everything he could from mechanics to navigation aboard a ship, and eventually earned a captainship.

Kismet struck again years after the two were wed, when Kasey traveled to Walla Walla for a music festival she planned to attend with her sister. Walla Walla offered everything. The town was alive with the arts, vibrant cultural diversity, amazing restaurants, and a thriving wine industry. 

Moving to Walla Walla

The couple had lived away from their small town roots too long, and so they took a leap of faith, moving their lives to Walla Walla to be close to family and to pursue the exciting opportunities they’d found there. “What we discovered is its burgeoning reputation as both a wine-growing region and a sought-after wedding destination,” Kasey told me. 

Kasey and Cameron took on management and production at Kinhaven, a beautiful opportunity for them to work closely together, combining their skillsets into a winning combination that’s served them and the winery extremely well. Kasey called it “a little stamp on something of our own.”

In the Vines at Kinhaven Winery
In the Vines at Kinhaven Winery – Photo by MaryRose Denton

Running Kinhaven

Cameron’s passion for cooking fine foods pairs very well with running a winery. After all, what goes better with a spectacular wine than a delicious, gourmet meal? It’s that elevated taste that sets Kinhaven apart, and it perfectly reflects the passion and character of the Davenports. 

That being said, Kasey and Cameron didn’t spring into viticulture fully equipped with all the knowledge they would need for their success. They have natural talents, to be sure, but Kinhaven produces its six signature wines under the tutelage of Tim Donahue, an expert winemaker with over a decade as Director of Winemaking at Walla Walla’s Institute for Enology and Viticulture under his belt. His craftsmanship allows Kinhaven’s tasting room to offer Rose, Viognier, Merlot, Malbec, and Carmenere, all near perfection and also available for purchase by members of Kinhaven’s Kinship Club.

Dine In The Vines

For the Davenports, making memories is a core value that influences every part of their work, both at Kinhaven and at Boyer House. Their unceasing attention to this goal flourishes during Dine In The Vines, Kinhaven’s annual five-course dinner, where one-hundred guests gather to take part in an elite dinner among the vines of the winery. They’re treated to all the scenery, Kinhaven’s memorable cuisine, and good company.

During this event, while Kasey takes care of the planning and execution, Cameron sees to every culinary detail, ensuring that every plate setting is perfect and that every wine glass is full. These dinners are a coveted event and offer a delightful reason to gather and create shared moments of joy with friends and family, something close to the Davenports’ hearts.

String Lights on the Vines of Kinhaven Winery
String Lights on the Vines of Kinhaven Winery – Photo by MaryRose Denton

See This Place for Yourself

Don’t take my word for the serenity you’ll find here. Kinhaven is a place best savored personally, when you have time to immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings. The longer you spend among the gently rustling vines, the more time slows down and the more you begin to feel at one with the earth under your feet.

If you need a place to stay, don’t forget about Boyer House. The Davenport family has thought of every need and every convenience. Each of it’s seven bedrooms is decorated with a homey luxury that goes above and beyond the norm, and the chef’s kitchen is fully stocked with everything you need for gourmet cooking.

Because the Davenports’ first and foremost goal, in both Kinhaven and Boyer House, is to facilitate creating fond memories with loved ones, they’ve installed a fully stocked game room in the basement and a home theatre on the fourth floor! The house is full of delightful ways to spend your time, literally from top to bottom. Interested? You can learn more about Boyer House here.

Next time you get away, get away to Kinhaven, where kinship is created. You won’t regret it.