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.
With temperatures pushing into the 70’s, blossoms bursting, and the grass greening by the day, it can mean only one thing; spring barrel tasting is upon us!
I met up with one of our local wine experts to get the scoop on why everyone is in such a buzz about spring barrel tasting in the valley, and it has nothing to do with bees. (Interesting fact: although bees play an important role in pollenating our fruit trees, they are not necessary for our hop and wine grape production.)
“Spring Barrel is important in winemaking for two reasons. First, it is the time of year when the wines have fully settled down in barrel from the most recent harvest and you can begin to see what the final wine will resemble,” said Geoff Howell, Sommelier and Cellar Master for Gilbert Cellars.
“The second reason is, that the spring is when we begin to pull out our barrels from two harvests prior and determine which ones will go into what wines.”
Geoff likened it to sampling food while you are preparing it. It might not taste like the end product, but you get a good idea of what it is going to taste like when it’s finished and maybe, what it’s missing.
Spring barrel weekend runs from April 24th- 26th. For a complete list of participating wineries, tickets, guides and the complete low down on the event, click here.
“The valley is a great destination for wine tasting for those looking for a little bit of an adventure,” said Howell. “We [Yakima Valley] are offering an outstanding product for an outstanding price and people have the opportunity to say they visited the valley when you could still get bottles of red and white that could go toe to toe with any of the top offerings from around the world for less than $40.”
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