Time to taste those new wine releases from our Valley wineries! Farmers, winemakers and connoisseurs always look forward to this time of year. You are guaranteed to find your favorite wine or, more likely wines, at discounted prices. Take advantage of the educational tours, taste and stomp the grapes, and bring home the wines you love.
The hardest part about coming to wine country is deciding which wineries to visit, so here are two sample itineraries to make your visit relaxing and enjoyable. For more tips to make your wine country tasting experience enjoyable, click here.
PROSSER/ RED MOUNTAIN AVA WEEKEND
FRIDAY OCTOBER 9, 2015
After you check into your hotel, make plans to “UnWined at the Clore Center”. Your favorite Lower Valley wineries will all gather in one place, Garcia’sTex Mex will have food for purchase and there will be live music by Highway 12. The event is from 6pm-9pm, and there’s only a $10 cover. Register online for quicker check-in, or just pay at the door.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 10, 2015
Your first stop should be Mercer Wine Estates, where you can take a free tour of their facility. Plan for some time here, because it’s huge! Tours head out at 11am, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm. After your tour, make sure to stop by their Tasting Room to enjoy the live music by Joe Pack from 11am - 3pm.
Head up to the Red Mountain AVA and stop at Tapteil Vineyard Winery, which has sweeping panoramic view of the Red Mountain AVA and the entire Yakima River Valley. This is a perfect picnic spot, so plan accordingly. Taste their newly released Syrah and GSM 2013, or try some their imported olive oil and vinegars. Winemaker and grape grower Larry Pearson, and label artist Jane Pearson, will be on hand to chat.
End your day at Tucannon Cellars where you can stomp grapes at their Competitive Grape Stomp at 4:00pm. Then stay for a big performance with local legends The Knutzen Brothers at 5pm on the scenic back porch.
Sunday October 11, 2015
End your trip with a visit to the beautiful Tuscan villa of Chandler Reach Winery overlooking the Yakima River. Taste wine while listening to the smooth and high energy Latin jazz and salsa played by Eddie Manzanores. 11-5 pm Saturday and Sunday. Bring your own glass or buy one for $5. Premier Pass or Club members will receive 15% discount.
YAKIMA AND BEYOND WEEKEND
Friday October 9, 2015
Check into your Downtown Yakima hotel. Grab a quick lunch at one of our Downtown restaurants, then head to the downtown wineries. Maybe start with Antolin Cellars, then head across the street to Gilbert Cellars and enjoy their good and wine pairings. Make sure your last stop is Kana Winery so you can enjoy their live music until 10 pm.
Saturday October 10, 2015
Head to the Rattlesnake Hills AVA to Catch the Crush at Two Mountain Winery. Take a vineyard tour at noon or 4:30 pm. There will be a $5 fee for the vineyard tour and tasting fee, but the money will be donated to the Chelan and Twisp fire relief fund, so it’s all good. Twisted Sister Food Truck will be on-site Saturday only from 11am-6pm serving delicious paninis. If you’re feeling energetic, join the annual Winemaker for a Day event from 1-3 pm. This is an RSVP only event and space is limited. Cost is $35.
Your second stop is Silver Lake Winery where you can 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, free to Premier Pass and RHWT Passport holders. 10am-5pm
Next, it’s time learn what it takes to be a Cellar Master at J. Bell Cellars winery from 12-4pm. Spend time learning about destemming grapes, doing punch down, trucking fermentation, and sensory evaluation of fermenting juice, then make your own Cellar Master Club T-shirt. $20 per person, $10 for J. Bell Club members.
Last stop of the day is Reflection Vineyards, located on a hill in the Rattlesnake Hills AVA with a view of orchards and vineyards. From 11am - 5pm they’ll have a stompin' good time! Come on out and stomp some grapes and make a Purple Feet Club t-shirt. Stomping is free; making a t-shirt is $10. For your appetite, the Squeeze Inn food truck will be on-site all day. Yum!
Sunday October 11, 2015
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before you head up to take in the views at Naches Heights Winery and Wilridge Winery, located side by side in the Naches Heights AVA, just west of the city of Yakima. Sit on the wraparound porch of Wilridge Winery, or take a walk through the vineyards. There will be food available for purchase both Saturday and Sunday, with Twisted Sister catering on Sunday and live music on both days. Premier Pass holders will receive a 20% discount off cases of Riesling and waived tasting fees. Wilridge Winery and Vineyard Premier Pass holders will be able to purchase bottles of Viogner and Pinot Gris for $15. No tasting fees for Premier Pass holders.
There’s a ton of ways you can Catch the Crush in Yakima Valley, so click here for a full listing of everything going on.
Looking for something specific to do? Here is a quick guide to winery offerings during Catch the Crush.
STOMP SOME GRAPES!
TAKE A TOUR!
EAT WITH THE WINEMAKERS!
PAIR WINE AND FOOD!
ENJOY LIVE MUSIC!
EXPLORE NEW FOOD!