Countdown to Crush and Harvest Celebrations
It’s a beautiful time of year in Yakima Valley Wine Country, full of excitement for winemakers and wine lovers alike. Harvest is well underway throughout Valley vineyards with grapes on their way to local wineries. As crush (crushing grapes to make wine) begins, winemakers are ready to craft their next great vintage and you can feel the energy in the air! This is also a time when many wineries release new wines.
Come to the source and share in the excitement of the season and find your next favorite Yakima Valley wine right where Washington wine was born, in the state’s first AVA. In addition to harvest festivities, this is also a time when many wineries release new wines and specials abound, so it’s a perfect time stock up on wine for the holiday season. Make time to take a lovely drive through the vineyards beginning to take on stunning fall colors.
Harvest and Crush Events
Annual crush and grape harvest festivities commence October 6 and 8 and continue October 14 and 15. Wineries around the Valley have special events on the calendar to celebrate grape crush. Find harvest and winemaking experiences, grape stomping, harvest parties, delicious food and fun all around the Valley. You can find the full Catch the Crush lineup on our calendar, but here’s a sampling!
Start harvest celebrations early with Whitman Hill Winery, one of the newest wineries in the Yakima Valley, as they open their doors September 23 for a Crush for Cancer fundraiser. Raise a glass for a good cause with a grape stomp, food trucks, raffle items, sawn games, carriage rides and more. The fun continues with Whitman Hill’s crush celebration October 14 and 15 with their anticipated fall wine release.
Start crush the second crush weekend with a special behind-the-scenes Harvest Experience at Dineen Vineyards, VanArnam Vineyards and Two Mountain Winery on October 14. Reserve your tickets for a look at what the winemakers do during harvest, including making picking decisions, crushing grapes and fermenting to craft wines of distinction. Compare and taste grapes at each stage of the process to wines in bottle. You don’t have to attend the Harvest Experience to crush celebrations at VanArnam Vineyards and Dineen Vineyards the rest of the weekend! For more tasting fun, reserve an ebike from Boost Bikes and pick up at VanArnam for a ride through the vineyards.
Freehand Cellars has a fantastic lineup of events both weekends, with a grape stomp celebration October 7 and live music both days. The fun continues with Harvest Day October 14. Check out all three events.
Airfield Estates has a full weekend planned with their 16th annual 5K Vineyard Run and grape stomp October 14, with their winemaker dinner on Friday.
More festivities abound at wineries around the valley, with more added every day. Keep checking our Harvest and Crush calendar for updates as we receive events from our wineries. Find more grape stomp experiences, live music, food and paired bites, costume contests, corn hole tournaments, free-run juice, games and more.
Harvest Flavors & Fun
Be sure to leave time for a stop or two at local restaurants showcasing the abundant fall harvest, artfully paired with Yakima Valley wines. In addition to Northwest dining options, sample seasonal woodfired pizza at Bron Yr Aur Brewing Co and HopTown Woodfired Pizza. Order ahead for an artfully crafted charcuterie picnic from Graze Craze with convenient pick-up.
Be sure to check out the Downtown Yakima Farmers Market on Sunday morning of crush and harvest weekends. Farm stands throughout the Valley are full of your favorite fall fruits and vegetables. Stop by to stock up on fall flavors and pick up gifts, wine country décor and locally made artisan goods at Johnson Orchards, Thompson’s Farm Market in Naches and Washington Fruit Place @ Barrett Orchards, where you’ll also find October Days festivities underway.