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!