Live in the Yakima Valley - Yakima Valley Wines, From Nowhere to Number One

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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.

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Yakima Valley Wines, From Nowhere to Number One

January 25, 2010

Not long ago the Yakima Valley’s wine industry was a well kept secret, in part because only a handful of wineries were established in the region.  Today, our Valley is home to over 70 wineries, 8,000+ acres of vineyards, and four distinct wine-growing appellations (AVAs).  The industry’s success is built on quality.  Yakima Valley wines have gained a world class reputation.  With numerous accolades and 90+ point ratings from the likes of Wine Spectator and the Wine Advocate, our region's wines stack up favorably with established wine meccas like Napa and Bordeaux.  Wine Spectator's #1 Ranked Wine this year, a Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon., is produced in our backyard. The wine industry complements the Valley’s large and diverse agriculture sector.  Farmers have embraced wine grapes because they require little water and the Yakima Valley’s unique microclimates allow a wide variety of premium grape varieties to thrive.  Communities up and down the Yakima Valley have also benefited tremendously from being part of wine country.

According to Barb Glover, executive director for Wine Yakima Valley, “Along with the growth of our wine industry, we’ve seen many locally-owned, first class restaurants, bed & breakfast establishments, and art centered communities establish themselves in the Valley.  It’s entrepreneurs like these who are spurring the growth and interest in the Yakima Valley’s wine industry.” Most of the region’s wineries have tasting rooms and a significant number of these operations are open year round.  Local wineries have also collaborated to create signature weekends when visitors (or locals) can enjoy special celebrations.

To learn more about upcoming Red Wine & Chocolate and Spring Barrel Tasting, and other special events, click here


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"We really are a jewel of the Northwest. This is an incredible place to live, to work, and to play." - Dave Edler, Yakima Foursquare Church