Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
The countdown has officially begun for Thanksgiving- a favorite holiday in the Yakima Valley. Many of us remember waking up early with family, chopping celery and onions and preparing the traditional turkey. It is particularly rewarding when the kitchen fills with the savory smells of a much anticipated ten-course dinner, and the hum of family and friends gathering around the dinner table brings homes to life.
At this time of year we are also thankful for a wonderful Northwest tradition, one that is unique to our Valley, Thanksgiving in Wine Country. The annual holiday event has been taking place in the Yakima Valley for 20 plus years, bringing people from across the state and beyond to enjoy the bounty of the Valley.
Wineries will throw open their doors this holiday weekend offering award-winning wines paired with fall cuisine, gourmet foods and great shopping opportunities. Remember, wine is always the perfect size. New releases will be available and wines will be paired with regional specialties (many prepared by the winemakers themselves), delectable desserts, soups, and artisan dishes can be found at each winery. It is an excellent way to start off your holiday season - family, friends and wine.
The Valley is a blaze with stunning fall colors this time of year and I recommend planning your wine tour off the beat and path to best enjoy the charm and beauty of the backcountry roads. Start your trip at the Visitor Information Center (VIC) located off of Interstate 82 (Fair Avenue Exit) where you can pick up maps, learn more about what the wineries have planned for the holiday weekend and begin your holiday shopping with great items in their gift shop. The staff and volunteers at the VIC are extremely knowledgeable about the local varietals available at the 40+ wineries in the Yakima Valley and can help you plan your trip around your favorite varietals or new wines you might not know about.
Happy Thanksgiving – Lets raise a glass and celebrate everything there is to be thankful for this holiday season and all year round.
For more information, winery hours and special events happening over the holiday weekend visit these websites: www.rattlesnakehills.org www.wineyakimavalley.com and www.visityakima.com. Note: Wineries are closed Thanksgiving Day but will be open Friday-Sunday for the event weekend.