Get ready for a grape-stomping good time in Yakima Valley wine country! Crush is a special time of year in the Valley. Winegrowers and vintners from one end of the Valley to the other have been meticulously monitoring grapes on the vines to harvest them at precisely the right moment. As harvest draws to a close, excitement fills the air and Yakima Valley winemakers get ready to craft another outstanding Yakima Valley vintage.
Catch the Crush celebrates the culmination of harvest and the beginning the winemaking process. Wineries are planning a Valley wide harvest party with grape stomping, tastings, live music, winemakers dinners, winery and vineyard tours, wine education experiences, food pairings and deals on your favorite wines. It’s the best time of year to stock on wine for the holidays!
So, mark your calendar for October 12 and 13 and get ready to sip and celebrate!
Let’s Get Stomping!
What could be more quintessential fun during grape harvest than a good old grape stomp? If you’ve never been to a grape stomp, now’s your chance! Go grape stomping, either as an individual or team. On Saturday, join the purple feet club at VanArnam Vineyards and Velen Winery both are selling t-shirts to capture your grape stained foot prints. Velen welcomes the whole family with kids t-shirts available. Get your grape stomping team together for a ticketed morning stomp at Desert Wind Winery and/or an afternoon at the Coyote Canyon Winery and Martinez and Martinez Winery grape stomping event. Airfield Estates holds their 13th Annual Grape Stomp on Saturday, where you can help create the next vintage of Sangiovese Rosé. Stomp grapes all weekend for free at Wilridge Winery & Vineyard and Tapteil Vineyards. Each grape stomping event offers special activities included in your ticket price, such as games, costumes, food, music, prizes and more. Check their event links for costume information!
Tours and Tastings
With harvest still underway, it’s a beautiful time to tour the vineyards. You can also share the excitement of winemaking during special tours, tastings and educational experiences. Visit Columbia Crest Winery Reserve Winery and Mercer Wine Estates for winery tours. At Yakima Valley Vintners enjoy an educational tour of the teaching winery and a guided tour on the crush pad to sample grapes and comparative wines. Have a sneak peek at 2019 harvest and mingle with the Owen Roe crew as they finish up harvest. Taste grapes in the field at Barrel Springs Winery and relax with a glass on the patio. Taste and guess the grapes at Severino Cellars. Taste the grapes and compare their flavors with the wines they will become at Tanjuli Winery, Yakima Valley Vintners and Horizon’s Edge Winery, where you can also observe fermentation and taste muscat canelli right out of the tank. Taste tank samples before the wine is bottled at Gilbert Cellars downtown tasting room, Horizon’s Edge Winery, Maison de Padgett Winery, Thurston Wolfe andHightower Cellars, where you can alsotake part in Tasting Through Time, from fermentation through barrel aging, bottle aging, and long-term cellar aging. Experience a grape’s transformation from a tiny sweet grape to a big, beautiful, age-worthy wine. This is an exciting sensory experience of grapes, juice and wines of various ages.
Take a vineyard tour at 2 pm at Wilridge Winery & Vineyard or drop by Paradisos Del Sol anytime for a self-guided vineyard tour, along with micro winemakers plate food and wine pairings. The Annual Winemaker for a Day at Two Mountain Winery is a ticketed event on October 12 from 1 to 3 pm for $25 per person. Learn what a winemaker does from vineyard to bottle. Purchase a Winemakers Table ticket for Gilbert Cellars Winery and Chandler Reach. Tour with each winemaker and taste a personally selected vertical of their best wines. Learn the history, nuances, and stories of each wine in an intimate seated tasting. Saturday October 12. Times vary per winery. Register for a Wine & Glass experience at Alexandria Nicole Cellars The Estate at Destiny Ridge and enjoy a two-hour class with Riedel to discover the effect of shape and size on the perception of wine in a glass. The $75 class is on Saturday from 2 to 4 pm and includes wine tasting, a hand-selected Riedel set, and light appetizers. Seating is limited.
Live Music in Wine Country
You’ll find live music at several Valley wineries during Catch the Crush. Kick of the weekend with a Friday evening concert or open mic night in downtown Yakima. For a complete listing of live music in the Valley Click Here.
Antolin Cellars: Die Bruder, Friday at 7pm
Kana Winery: Open Mic Night, Friday and Redacted Band, Sat. from 7 to 10 pm
Wilridge Winery & Vineyard: Mongrels with Rod Giles, Saturday and Sunday, from 2 to 5 pm
Freehand Cellars: Entice the Mice, Saturday from 3 to 5 pm
Milbrandt Vineyards: Gabe Knutzen, Saturday from 2 to 5 pm
Mercer Wine Estates: Knutzen Brothers, Saturday from 1 to 4 pm
Hedges Family Estate: Kicking off Fall – Farmer’s Market with Frazer Wambeke, Saturday from 1 to 4 pm
Coyote Canyon Winery and Martinez and Martinez Winery: Country Singer/Song Writer Cale Moon Reinforced, Saturday during the grape stomp event
This is the Yakima Valley, so of course you’ll find plenty of tasty treats along your Catch the Crush route! Several wineries offer food over the weekend in addition to great restaurant stops throughout the Valley. At the wineries you’ll find everything from wood-fired pizza, authentic tacos, Texas barbecue and pastries to artisan grilled sandwiches, including vegan options. Wilridge Winery & Vineyard, Freehand Cellars , Owen Roe, Treveri Cellars, Paradisos Del Sol, Dineen Family Vineyards, VanArnam Vineyards, 14 Hands Winery, Airfield Estates, Milbrandt Winery, Barrel Springs Winery, and Hedges Family Estate will all feature signature foods made on-site or food trucks during Catch the Crush.
For a something special, reserve your seat for winemakers dinners at Airfield Estates Winery, J. Bell Cellars and Lavender and Chandler Reach. On Friday, October 11, before Catch the Crush, the 13th Annual Winemaker’s Dinner at Airfield Estates Winery celebrates the Yakima Valley bounty through a five-course meal paired with Airfield wines. On October 12, J. Bell Cellars and Lavender 6th Annual Winemaker Dinner on Saturday features six J Bell wines paired with a five-course meal from Fat Pastor Productions, award winning chefs you may have seen in print and television. Enjoy a five-course, locally sourced dinner on October 12, paired with their wines at the Chandler Reach Harvest Winemakers Dinner at the Villa.
Catch the Crush Specials
Looking for those wine deals? You’ll find 10% to 50% off your purchases, free wine tastings with purchase and specials on wines for as little as $10 a bottle. All that information and more can be found here on the Yakima Valley Tourism page for Catch the Crush.