Where to do a wine tasting in Yakima Valley
the oldest in Washington Wine region is home to more than a quarter of the state’s wine-growing area. The Yakima Valley may be best known for its abundance of hops, tree fruits, and vegetables, but it truly is the birthplace of Washington wine.
Start the day with bubbles, good enough to pour at White House State Department receptions since the days of Hillary Clinton. Treveri cellars just outside, Yakima only makes sparkling wine. Juergen Grieb, born in Germany, graduated in sparkling winemaking before moving to Washington in 1982. In 2010, he started Treveri (with his wife, Julie, as managing director and his son, Christian, in as a winemaker) and produces everything from sparkling syrah to müller. thurgau. Outdoor sofas and large parasols dot the patio of the tasting room; Treveri also serves food and lots of mimosas.
Nearby at Owen Roe, David O’Reilly has been making some of the state’s most delicious wines since 1999. The fruit comes mainly from the valley surrounding the winery, a barn-style building in classic red that stands out against the backdrop of rolling hills, vineyards and Mount Adams. Despite being a longtime Washington winemaker, O’Reilly shows equal skill with fruit from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, including his famous Pinot Noir. The wide lawn invites picnics, or at least outdoor tasting flights.
A nationally renowned tamale shop lurks in tiny Union Gap on the way back to town. The James Beard Foundation presented one of its America’s Classics awards to a family business Los Hernández Tamales, which serves as tender pockets of masa filled with pork, chicken or spring’s favorite, asparagus and pepper jack. If you can, grab some frozen tamales to take home. Or come back to the city center for Cowiche Canyon Kitchen and Cooler for a prime rib dip or chop salad in a spectacular building designed by Graham Baba Architects.
Los Hernandez is one of the few local suppliers to set up a regular tent at Gilbert Cellars, a winery west of town that should be your last stop before stopping off. After a dozen years of operating a tasting room in the city center, the winery has moved the configuration of its visitors to the actual production site. It’s outrageously picturesque, filled with gardens, grassy expanses and bucolic views. No wonder so many couples get married here.