Catch the Crush is the Yakima Valley’s celebration of the end of grape harvest, and the beginning of many fine wines. Why is this important, you might ask? The timing of the harvest of the grapes has everything to do with the quality and taste of the wine. As the berries ripen, the grapes become sweeter. The more sugar in the grape, the higher potential alcohol level in the wine. And in red grapes, the tannins in the seeds soften during ripening. Every aspect of the ripening grapes is examined before harvest to ensure quality wines. Catch the Crush celebrates of the harvest with over 50 wineries offering grape stomping, tours, tastings, harvest and crush activities, live music, food for purchase and great discounts on bottles of wine for the holidays. Sit in the sunshine surrounded by fall vineyards sampling fine wines, and take the opportunity to visit a few wineries you have not tried before.
KICK OFF YOUR WEEKEND
The weekend gets off to an entertaining start with First Friday in Downtown Yakima. Before you head out to the vineyards on Saturday, tour the downtown wineries featuring live music, all starting at 7pm. Check out Antolin Cellars with The Common Deer, Gilbert Cellars with March to May, and Kana Winery’s live music. 5North Restaurant will feature Tyler Bush & Sean Rogers! If you are closer to Prosser on Friday, attend the Walter Clore Center UNwined event to kick back, relax and enjoy an evening of wine, food and live music, or the Bounty of the Harvest Wine Dinner at Desert Wind Winery.
LEARN ABOUT THE HARVEST
SilverLake Winery offers their 'Taste the Grapes' weekend. Experience the wine making process from start to finish. Start with the wine grapes, move on to the unfiltered version, then the final product! Admission is $8.00 (free to Premier Pass and RHWT passport holders).
At Bonair Winery, taste and compare wine and table grapes fresh from the vine. If the grapes are all picked, we will taste the newly fermenting wine from this year!
Two Mountain Winery hosts their winemaker for a day from 1:00 - 3:00 pm on Oct.8th. Get your hands dirty and learn what this whole harvest thing is all about! The first hour is spent with the grape grower in the vineyard, tasting the grapes while learning all about the grape growing process. The next hour is spent with the wine maker inside of the wine making facility, explaining how the blends are made, what happens once the grapes are picked and brought into the winery, the first fermentation, going through the press and into the barrel, how the barrels are selected, along with the bottling process and understanding price points. $25 per person.
FEEL THE GRAPES SQUISH BETWEEN YOUR TOES
Airfield Estates - Annual Grape Stomp on Saturday from 2-4pm. Fee includes two glasses of wine. And there’s the annual Vineyard Run on Saturday too! Registration is at 10:00 am, and the run starts at 11:00. Runners, walkers, children, and well-behaved dogs are welcome!
Naches Heights Vineyards & Wilridge Winery - Grape Stomping from 2:00 – 4:00 pm on both Saturday and Sunday, along with grape samples (if they are still available.) Also featuring live music and food for purchase!
VanArnam Vineyards – Head to VanArnam for a stompin’ good time! Stomp some grapes and make a “purple feet club” t-shirt! For your appetite, Flying Pig BBQ will be on-site all day.
Tucannon Cellars – Their annual competitive Grape Stomp starts at 5:00 on Saturday. Team signup is Saturday before 4:30 at the tasting room!
Maryhill Winery – The harvest celebration includes grape stomping, wine tasting, live music, Bocce, barrel tasting and food available for purchase. There’s a free hot dog and marshmallow roast, and you can create and purchase a commemorative grape-dyed Harvest Celebration t-shirt. They also have tons of specials on wine, with up to 50% off on case specials! The tasting room is open from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, with live music from 1:00 – 5:00 pm.
VISIT A WINERY YOU HAVEN’T TRIED BEFORE!
Domanico Cellars is a small family owned and operated winery which started in a bungalow in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, then moved to a Ballard warehouse. In 2012 they purchased their first vineyard, packed-up the family, “moved to the farm” to open their second winery tasting room on the vineyard in Prosser. For Catch the Crush they will offer crush activities, self-guided tours of their old vine vineyards, fresh juice tasting, just picked grape tasting, and barrel and tank samplings. Come and meet the family and try their wines!
Purple Star Wines is a boutique, family-owned winery started in 2008 in Benton City. For Catch the Crush they will taste Syrah in its varying wine states: fermenting juice, barrel aging and final product. There will be food available for purchase and live music. Take a virtual tour or, better yet, drop by and taste wine made from grapes sourced from Washington State’s finest appellations, including Wahluke Slope, Yakima Valley and Red Mountain.
Whisper Ridge Winery isit their tasting room in Zillah and discover Old World style wines with a hands-on flair. Since 2006, Whisper Ridge Winery has produced quality Washington wine by selecting outstanding quality grapes from the finest vineyards in Washington and hand label each bottle. You will love the art, elegance (and of course the taste) of their wines!
Maison de Padgett Winery in Zillah, stroll through beautifully groomed European gardens and enjoy the Tuscan inspired architecture of the tasting room. Take advantage of the 2016 Specials: Cash Cow 1.5 L Red Blend (3 for $60.00), Lipservice 1.5L (3 for $30.00), Quentin's Corner Chardonnay and Risque Chardonnay $10.00 per bottle. Also, releasing a new Treasure Chest Cabernet, and the Franc Blackberry Port Style wine, which is heaven in a bottle! The traditional photo booth will be available for our guests to enjoy.
Make your winery touring plan easy with our printable list of what each of the wineries are offering during Catch the Crush. Here are a few tips on wine tasting during fall, and don’t forget to take advantage of great deals on wine for holiday meals and gifts. And don’t forget to enjoy!