Wine Tasting

 

The streets (and vineyards!) of Yakima come alive each Friday evening, starting with the First Fridays and Monthly Sip and Stroll. Every first Friday, stroll the downtown streets and check out numerous live music options at wineries, specials at tasting rooms, exhibits at galleries, and of course prix fixe menus matched with the month’s finest wine picks. For a warmup, the third Thursday of the month features Sip and Stroll, where you can get punchcards from numerous shops and, when complete, you’re entered to win a gift basket from local wineries.

Fantastic restaurants have popped up in recent years, along with classic standbys. Many give a nod to the season and utilize local, organic and seasonal ingredients. Plus, the happy hours around downtown can’t be beat with two-for-one specials and samples galore.

A Night to Remember

Swing into one of the many wine bars and bistros, which pepper the area from Yakima all the way to Prosser. A lot of wineries have shifted into downtown, offering a full wine bar experience in addition to the tasting rooms at the vineyards. From signature weekend events to special winemaking dinners and tapas nights, there’s always something exciting happening.

Don’t miss out on the Prosser Summer Beer Fest at Whitstran Brewing on July 9 from 5-10pm, either! For just $20, you have access to sample regional beers, live music, and delectable food, and help this local brewer celebrate 20 years in Yakima.

Spending Mother’s Day in the beautiful and charming wine region of Yakima is a gift in itself. But what if you really want to treat mom this holiday? For many, the Waffles Caffe is the idyllic breakfast hot spot. Famous for monstrously big Belgian waffles and their old fashioned banana split with whipped cream, strawberries and more, everything here is supersized and super-sweet for moms with a sweet tooth.

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Afterward, drive the canyon road from Yakima to Ellensburg, a gorgeous highway with vistas, desert hills that seemingly never end, and stunning geographical tones along the hillside. Ellensburg also has a number of fantastic restaurants and cafes. This scenic canyon drive adds only an additional 15 minutes to your drive, making it well worth it.

Yakima Secrets

This year, a special Mother’s Day Jazz Brunch with Jazz Crush at the Sawyer House is featuring sparkling wines, live jazz and bottomless mimosas! Enjoy the Jazz Crush Combo and Rondi Marsh, partnering with Treveri Cellars, for a day of tastings at this child-friendly party. Kids’ activities include a bubble machine on the sprawling lawn and making Mother’s Day cards. From 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., tickets are $35 for adults, $15 for children ages 5-15, and kids ages 5 and under are free. Book your tickets early, and treat mom to wine tasting in Yakima like never before.

This luscious buffet features Essencia Bakery and Catering providing items such as brioche orange French toast, asparagus and leek frittata, cinnamon beehives with raspberry cream scones, herb sausage patties, baked ham with an apricot glaze, eggs, granola and fruits, rosemary country red potatoes, beef satay with mango sauce, and much more.

Spring in the Pacific Northwest is straight out of a fairy tale, complete with other-worldly green hues and ideal temperatures for outdoor adventures. In Yakima, try the local farmers market, where you can sample some of the best homegrown produce and pastries in Washington. Next, head to Hyatt Vineyards for a tasting and tour of the gorgeous vineyard.

At Yakima Sportsman State Park, you can reserve a camping space or permit, and spend your spring break getting back in touch with Mother Nature. It’s also a popular geocaching destination. The Hogue Cellars is an excellent source for local wines where the staff is knowledgeable and friendly and has a knack for perfect pairings.

A Break in Paradise

Cowiche Country Trail is a great choice for hiking year-round, and you can even schedule a leisurely horseback ride. Stop by the Yakima County Visitor Information Center for free guides and information on the latest events and festivals. Fort Simcoe State Park is always calling, a place for hiking, biking, picnics, and birding.

Head to Bale Breaker Brewing Company for some locally crafted beer and eats that are seasonal and sustainable. At Portteus Winery, you’ll find a wide range of wines that go perfectly with your spring break escape.

Romance and the Pacific Northwest go together like rain and the coast (in this region, that’s a given!). You’re in wine country, which means every restaurant is brimming with special bottles—or you can make a day of tasting at cellars this February 14th. Reservations at Zesta Cucina are always a sure bet at this steak and seafood destination with an intimate setting. There’s Gasperetti’s Gourmet Cuisine, one of the oldest bistros in town with a special V-Day menu.

Go to Gilbert Cellars for light bites and impressive tasting flights all day long. The Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail might not have the most romantic name, but it’s in a gorgeous setting with award-winning vino. Wine Yakima Valley is one of the biggest wineries in the area, and their special selections make every sip memorable.

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Go Out with a Bang!

Local florists can create arrangements featuring local blooms and plants that you’ll never find anywhere else. Shirley’s Flower Shop is well-known for their creative bouquets, and Bella Fiore Floral and Gift Shop is where you’ll find flowers, cards and local gifts for the special someone in your life.

Craving a little more sweetness at the end of the day? Go to Essencia Artisan Bakery for a Euro-inspired treat or La Morenita Bakery, open until 9pm, for a diverse mix of options. There’s always Baskin-Robbins for a comfort scoop, or Pepe’s Bakery for something with a little more flair.

 

It’s harvest season, and that means the famous Yakima wineries are offering the biggest parties and best tastings of the year. During your stay at Ledgestone Suites, make sure you take in a tour or two. Airfield Estates’ annual Grape Stomp is October 10th from 2-5pm, and you can “lend a foot” in creating future delectable wines. The event comes with complimentary tastings, plenty of photo opportunities, and a once in a lifetime experience.

Catch the Crush takes place at a number of wineries, taking you from grape stomps to live music with one Premier Pass. Call 509-965-5201 for your passbook and get ready to experience wineries, Yakima-style. Since Washington is Wine Country, you can’t miss out on Blue Friday at Alexandria Nicole Cellars on October 16th, where discounts abound and you’ll get VIP treatment if you show the Seahawks (the local team) some love.

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Something to Wine About

Many guests return to Yakima for the holidays, eager to find out what Thanksgiving in Wine Country is really like. Pourings are generous and there are no stringent holiday hours at any of the best wineries during the festive season. Ask your Ledgestone staff about November and December events taking place during your stay.

Yakima wineries are legendary, and some of the best in the country. Leave room in your suitcase for souvenir glasses, a new favorite bottle, and some keepsakes from those grape stomping shenanigans.

 

Wine TourOver the past few years, Washington state has stepped up to the big leagues with their wine and wine making abilities. While California was once the hot spot for wine tours and tastings, Washington has moved up in the ranks and is now a hot spot for wine enthusiasts.

Yakima has many opportunities to partake in wine tasting and tours. If you are looking to stay in town, the downtown area provides numerous locations to cleanse your palate and taste some of the most delectable wines Washington has to offer. All within walking distance of one another, Gilbert Cellars, Kana Winery, AntoLin Cellars, Lookout Point Winery, and Stems are a must on your wine tour.

If you are wanting to venture out a little further, The Tasting Room Yakima at Wilridge Vineyard and Naches Heights Vineyard are both great spots. Try over 25 different wines from various boutique wineries, take a hike and enjoy the beautiful view.

Wine may not be your thing so try one of the local breweries. Bale Breaker Brewing Company, just outside of Yakima in Moxee or Yakima Craft Brewing Company have local beers on tap for you to enjoy.

Be sure to check the hours of each tasting room before heading out. Once you have found your favorite Washington State wine, grab a bottle and bring it back with you for a relaxing evening here at Ledgestone.