As of Friday, November 16, 2018
It’s just a week away from one of my favorite Yakima Valley events - Thanksgiving Day dinner, of course, but also Thanksgiving in Wine Country, the best opportunity to sample wine paired with great food and desserts.
It’s not Buddy’s favorite event as he is not allowed to drive the van as my designated driver. Nor is he allowed to consume any of the wine I expect to be tasting.
If I’m able, I will try to find him a few doggie treats to keep him settled down for at least one afternoon of travel through the valley.
What makes the weekend so special is all the visitors it brings to our area. It’s been an annual event for nearly 30 years and continues to grow each year.
Buddy, who is only six years old, doesn’t know that, nor does he care. Still he will take any excuse to go on a ride.
Plus, he loves to bark at the other winetasters’ pets and the occasional cyclist traveling our country roads.
I always try to get back to the wineries where I sampled young wines during the annual spring during barrel tasting to see how they have matured. I always find a few new favorites.
There are always a number of award-winning wines to sip as our winemakers are among the best in the country.
The three-day event, which opens wineries from Yakima to Tri-Cities is centered mainly on Zillah to Prosser, where most winemakers hone their skills. is always held the same weekend as Thanksgiving, naturally.
The area wineries all put out their best wines, many of which were sampled and judges over the course of the summer at the region’s large wine festivals.
I always like to appear at the local Yakima Valley Teaching Winery Technology program in Grandview to see how the student winemakers are doing.
The students recently earned nine top honors at the 2018 Tri-Cities Wine Festival demonstrating their passion for all things grape.
I also like to visit Cote Bonneville Tasting Room and Co Dinn Winery here in Sunnyside, on my way home.
This year, I’ll add a stop at Varietal Beer Company to cleanse my palate and give Buddy a chance to stretch his legs. The boys at VBC are dog-friendly, so let’s hope Buddy doesn’t curse the place for all other canines.
Then I think I’ll treat myself to dinner at Snipes Brewery and try some of their seasonal beers.
If Buddy is lucky, we end the day with a small bone-in steak, so he can chew on the bone.
If I don’t get a steak, maybe he’ll settle for nachos.