One thing we had to do while staying at Hood Park in Burbank, Washington was to go visit some vineyards and wineries. A drive up Interstate 82 from Richland to Yakima will have you driving through some of the most highly concentrated wine country in western Washington. With over 80 wineries on this stretch of road there is no doubt you will find one that makes a blend that appeals to your palate.
During our last few days in the Tri-Cities Debbie took us to a couple of nice wineries near West Richland. First was the Kiona Winery where the lady that served us was very entertaining and the various wines we tried were all pretty good. We primarily like like reds and before we left we had to buy one made from the Lemberger grape. It was a wine we had never tried before yet found to be quite exceptional.
Next up was a winery that was drop dead gorgeous and is often rented out for $10,000 and up for weddings. Great views are seen from the tasting room of the well manicured and smartly appointed grounds framed by the rolling desert hills in the background. Terra Blanca vineyards has some pricey wines but in our opinion their reds were not as good as those we had at Kiona. However, they had a white Vognier that was exceptionally crisp and smoooooth… We drink mostly red so to find a white we both liked was great. We bought two bottles, one to share with our friends Marshall and Debbie on the patio of their tasting room and one for a later date.
Before we knew it the days had passed and we were to leave on Sunday morning. We bid farewell to our great friends and were amazed at how easily we were able to reconnect on so many levels. Had a great sunset our last night in the park and we left before our noon checkout to drive only 70 miles up Interstate 82. We are staying at a Harvest Host Winery in the Yakima Valley near Zillah,Washington. Claar Cellars Winery is a small mom and pop winery of German heritage that welcomed us to camp behind their tasting room.
A small and cozy tasting room gave us the opportunity to take our time tasting since we were the only ones visiting the tasting room. Debbie, our server of small samples of wine, was lively, energetic and full of stimulating conversation about the history of wines, the history of the area, and made many suggestions of other places to see while here. We enjoyed her company so much we spent nearly two hours visiting with her and sampling wines.
All of the Claar Cellar wines were pretty darned good and they even had a few nice whites. Their 10 year port (I am not a big fan of ports) was not too sweet and when served in a small dark chocolate cup we decided it would make for a real nice after dinner treat. We selected a nice Merlot to take with us back to the motorhome. Tomorrow we head to Randle, Washington for a few days and unfortunately rain is in the forecast. We apparently didn’t stay long enough in the desert for the typical highs to settle in at the northwest. Then it is off to Astoria, Oregon for a week…