If you are looking to escape for a while then consider going on an adventure to Yakima Valley Wine Country, Washington. Washington State is second to California in wine production. The Yakima Valley Appellation is the oldest and largest wine region in Washington State. There are over 60 Yakima Valley Wineries, which produce over one third of Washington State’s wine. In Yakima Valley you can taste award-wining wines in a relaxed atmosphere. This makes Yakima Valley Wine Country the perfect wine adventure.
During a recent visit to Yakima Valley our first stop was the Yakima Valley Visitors Center (you can also take advantage of the online guide). The staff gave us excellent advice on wine, food and spas. After a tasty lunch at the Second Street Grill, we were ready for an afternoon visiting three local wineries. Two of the Yakima Valley wineries we visited are located on the Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail. No, you do not have to worry about rattlesnakes.
Bonair Winery and Vineyards
First stop was Bonair Winery and Vineyards, Zillah. It was founded in 1985 and is now celebrating its 25th year. We sampled some wines from its home vineyard, Chateau Puryear Vineyard and Bonair’s second vineyard, Morrison Vineyard. We had great conversation with one of the owners. We were treated to wonderful hospitality during our wine tasting at Bonair. You can check out visitors’ comments on Tripadvisor, Yahoo and Yelp.
Hyatt Vineyards, Zillah were founded in 1987. The winery produces wines from four vineyards (Hyatt Estate Vineyard, Cherry Hill, Three Rocks and Roza Ridge). The Hyatt Vineyards Winery is a great stop on the Yakima Valley Wine Trail. We enjoyed tasting their award-wining wines. Check out visitors’ comments on Tripadvisor, Yahoo and Yelp. There is also a Frommer’s review that gives some tasting suggestions.
We arrived at Gilbert Cellars 5 North Front Street, Yakima just at the end of Happy Hour. We tasted two whites (2010 Unoaked Chardonnay and 2010 Gewürztraminer). From the reds we tasted 2008 Alloborges, 2007 Left Bank Claret blend, 2007 Estate Syrah (91 points Wine Spectator, Double Gold at 2010 Seattle Awards), 2007 Petit Verdot (Bronze Medal 2010 Seattle Awards, Robert Parker 90+ points), 2008 Tempranillo Port, and 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Wine and Spirits 91, Robert Parker 90+). You can check out Snooth wine reviews of Gilbert Cellars wines. After wine tasting we ordered a cheese plate and wine. We were quite pleased overall with Gilbert Cellars wines. Some visitors have commented on Urbanspoon and Yelp.
The Yakima Valley Wineries were fun to visit. You will have no problem discovering one you like. There are plenty of local restaurants and accommodations in the area, as well as lots to see and do. Before we left town we had breakfast at a local diner called Mel’s at 314 N. First Street.
Yakima Valley has also attracted spas, such as Ummelina Spa. Cherry Wood Bed Breakfast and Barn is bed and breakfast where you can even tour wineries on horseback. You can see why Tripadvisor reviewers give it great reviews.
Yakima Valley Wine Country is within driving distance from major North West cities such as, Seattle (142 miles), Spokane (203 miles), Tri-Cities (85 miles), Walla Walla (130 miles), Portland, Oregon (185 miles) and Vancouver, British Columbia (276 miles). You can also fly directly into Yakima airport on Horizon/Alaska Airlines.