So, at this point we are pondering which wineries will be on the list to visit during our upcoming Yakima Valley wine tour. Actually, many of the wineries that we are interested in are in Prosser, but Prosser apparently has very little in the way of accommodations. So, Yakima will be the jumping off point. From the wine books I have read, that seems to be what most people do.
We don’t have a lot of good whites at home right now. It seems like lately it has tougher to find a truly spectacular white wine. I’m not sure if my tastes are changing and I’m becoming more selective, or the great whites are fewer and further between. So, at any rate, that will be my focus for the weekend. I’ve got some books from the library to take a look through, and I’ll see if I can come up with some good ideas from them (I get this obsessive trip planning gene from my mother). She is great to travel with, because she will scope out all the possible touristy things to do, and I do the driving. It works great – I just have to tell her what I’m interested in for the day… museum, shopping, pub food, and she sets up the itinerary. But I digress, because I’m not taking this trip with mom. And with Jon, I have to do my own research. Hopefully the library books will have the scoop on the good wineries. At this point, here is what we are leaning towards:
First up, Airfield Estates Winery. I received a bottle of their red blend as a birthday gift last fall from Jon’s Aunt and Uncle. I was quite impressed with this wine, especially given that it was their everyday wine – and it wasn’t a single varietal, not single vineyard, not estate grown, nor any of the other indicators that the winery believes that this wine is one of their standouts. I am curious to try more of their offerings, because if their everyday table wine is this good, imagine what they can really do!
McKinley Springs – this one is a little further past Prosser I guess. We had a bottle of their Viognier last spring, and it was outstanding. Their Syrah was very impressive as well. If the drive isn’t too far, we will visit them and see what the rest of their wines are like.
Kestrel Vineyards. We don’t really know much about this winery, but it was recommended at one point by someone. Of course, we can’t quite remember who – but I believe it was Tom and Tracey of Glacial Lake Missoula, who source their grapes from this area. They seem to focus on the reds though, which gets us away from the weekends purpose of restocking on the whites.
Milbrandt Vineyards. This is a winery that Jon is interested in. They seem to do a little of everything, which can either be good, or not so good – we have had it both ways. We’ll have to try them out and see.
Piety Flats Winery – this is Camille’s pick so far. They seem to have a good selection of different wines, including several whites and a Chenin Blanc, which is a white that we don’t see very often. Chenin Blanc at its best is a very light, crisp wine, so I can’t wait to see what they have got!
We also want to head to the town of Toppenish to see their painted murals. The town has come together and painted more than 70 murals on downtown buildings, depicting scenes of everyday people living their lives, past and present. It looks like Yakima has a pretty neat historic area, with shops and antique stores. Plus, there is always the Antique/Wine/Fruit Stand outside of Yakima. We saw that on a trip we took last Memorial Day weekend, and we were intrigued, but when we were there it was evening, and they were closed. I firmly believe that everyone should take the opportunity to see these kitschy touristy locales when they get the chance. If for no other reason than to be able to say, “Hey, you know that Antique/Wine/Fruit Stand off of I-82?” “Yes, why as a matter of fact, I’ve been there!” And so we’ll go!
And I’ll consult my books for additional options… homework again…