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Yakima Valley the source for beverage and food experiences

Just about two hours from Seattle is a spot where the wine, beer and food experiences never stop. That spot is the sunny Yakima Valley.

With wineries, breweries, restaurants and farms galore, the Yakima Valley is a great destination to craft your own beverage and food adventure. The Valley is blessed with the perfect climate for growing things; 300 days of annual sunshine, volcanic soil and consistent access to water have made the Yakima Valley one of the most important agricultural regions in the world.

It is here that more than 75% of the U.S. hops are grown, surpassing even Germany in total hop production. In fact, two-thirds of Yakima’s hop crop is exported around the globe. The focus on hops keeps Yakima Valley growers on the cutting edge of the hop industry, and always seeking better standards to manage and grow this important crop.

With all the abundance of hops, it’s no wonder the Yakima Valley boasts a bevy of craft breweries. Here you can enjoy an IPA made from hops pulled off the bine that very morning, or rub elbows with some of the biggest brewers from around the world as they hand-select hops for their next brew.

This Valley is also the cradle of Washington wine, with some grape plantings dating back more than three decades. Today, more than 120 wineries within five American Viticulture Areas (AVA’s) are compacted into 70 miles of scenic vineyards, where they produce hundreds of varieties of handcrafted, award-winning wines.

The local restaurants punctuate the Valley’s unique position in the craft beverage world by offering local beer and wine paired menus and seasonal dishes that compliment various agriculture industries.

It is in these restaurants where you see that farm-to-table is more than a catch phrase. Yakima restaurants practically invented it, since the fertile valley is where more than 40 commercial crops are raised — the largest variety of produce grown in the Pacific Northwest. Getting fresh and local produce does not end at the restaurant’s door. There are pick-your-own locations, farmer’s markets and farm stands open just about daily during the growing season.

Come visit the Yakima Valley Tourism exhibit at the Seattle Wine and Food Experience, Sunday, February 26, and see for yourself how this destination offers up a variety of craft beverage and food experiences that are sure to become cherished memories!

Second Annual Seattle Wine and Food Experience Wine Awards Represent the Best of the West

Seattle Wine and Food Experience is pleased to announce the results of its second annual Wine Awards. More than 65 wineries submitted 190 wines for the awards in a variety of styles from red and white to sparkling and dessert. The wines were tasted and awarded medals by Great Northwest Wine’s tasting panel, led by longtime Northwest wine journalists Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman. The panel judged the wines under blind conditions, not knowing the producers, region of origin or prices. Wines were awarded gold, silver and bronze medal and 10 were given top honors:

  • Best in Show: Michael David Winery 2012 Cabernet Franc, Lodi
  • Best Red: Michael David Winery 2012 Cabernet Franc, Lodi
  • Best White: Franciscan Estate 2013 Equilibrium, Napa Valley
  • Best Sparkling: Gloria Ferrer NV Sonoma Brut, Sonoma County
  • Best of Class: 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards 2012 Reserve Merlot, Snake River Valley
  • Best of Class: Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2013 Destiny Ridge Vineyard Jet Black Syrah, Horse Heaven Hills
  • Best of Class: Darighe 2010 Proprietor’s Blend, Columbia Valley
  • Best of Class: Dussek Family Cellars 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley
  • Best of Class: Michael David Winery 2013 Chardonnay, Lodi
  • Best of Class: Serra Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir, Rogue Valley

“We don’t think about region when we are judging. We think about the wines, their balance, flavors and varietal tendencies. The Michael David Cabernet Franc was a classic and hands down the best red wine of the competition,” said Andy Perdue, editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. “It quickly rose above the others, thanks to a combination of varietal correctness, beautiful balance and combination of perfect ripeness.”

For a full list of award winners including gold, silver and bronze winners click here

“The awards program was created to give wineries an opportunity to have their wines tasted by top wine professionals on the West Coast,” said Jamie Peha, president of Peha Promotions, TableTalk Northwest and producer of SWFE. “Because Seattle Wine and Food Experience is open to all wine regions it gives wineries an opportunity to be tasted on a broader scale.”

The SWFE Wine Awards have garnered press of their own in Great Northwest Wine, Mail Tribune, Wine Business Daily and Woodinville Wine Update.