This weekend the wineries preview new releases before the big Spring Barrel Tasting celebration on April 24-26. The wineries are less crowded, offering more relaxed opportunities to talk to the winemakers about their wines and taste straight from the barrels. There are wineries all along the Yakima Valley participating in the Spring Barrel preview of new releases.
The wineries of the Rattlesnake Hills AVA, located a short drive south of the city of Yakima on I-82 East are participating in Pre - Spring Barrel weekend. There is no cost to attend this event but some wineries charge a small tasting fee. You may also purchase a Rattlesnake Hills Passport for $10 at the Yakima Valley Visitor Information Center and participating wineries. Passports have no expiration date and are good once at each winery for the specified benefits. The wineries may add additional benefits during event weekends like Spring Barrel.
In the early 1980's, when the first commercial wineries were established here, there were only 17 wineries in Washington State and now there are close to 800. Wines produced in this area are diverse; Aligote, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Madeline Angevine, Mueller-Thurgau, Muscat Canelli, Muscat Ottonel, Orange Muscat, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Rousanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Siegerrebe, Viognier. Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Lemberger (Blue Franc), Malbec, Merlot, Mouverdre, Nebbiolo, Petit Syrah, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Syrah, Zinfandel.
From J. Bell Cellars, Tanjuli and Dineen Vineyards in the Rattlesnake Hills to Airfield Estates in Prosser to Tucannon Cellars in Benton City you will be able to enjoy a relaxing weekend getting acquainted with the wine makers, tasting fine Yakima Valley wines and soaking up the sunshine. The weather forecast is 75 degrees with sunshine all weekend.
What are you waiting for!