Planning something for that special someone this Valentine’s day? How about a weekend getaway to the Yakima Valley? Red Wine & Chocolate Weekend, February 17-19, is a Yakima Valley signature event where you get to taste wines paired with delectable chocolate at numerous Yakima Valley wineries, and it’s the perfect time to visit with your sweetheart. Here are a few suggestions to make your trip an unforgettable, over-the-top experience.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Maison is located in Downtown Yakima within easy walking distance of fine restaurants, wineries, breweries and shops. Originally built in 1911 by the local Yakima Freemasons, the building was remodeled into a gorgeous, boutique hotel while still maintaining the Masonic influences.
Zillah Lakes Inn is a brand new inn located in the gated community of Zillah Lakes. Offering access to a six-hole golf course and three miles of nature trail to explore, you can sit on the patio of the lake side rooms around the fire pit and watch the sunset with a glass of fine wine. Plus, there are over 20 wineries within a short 15-minute drive.
Cozy Rose Inn is a bed and breakfast in a country setting where you can take walks through the family vineyards and orchards, or just relax and renew yourselves in this park-like setting. Cozy Rose has been recommended as The Northwest’s Best Places to Kiss, Romantic America, and, most importantly, their guests.
The Historic Mercer Building are family owned, upscale, boutique accommodations in lively Downtown Prosser. They feature beautifully restored suites with original wood floors and stunning 8 foot windows. Enjoy complimentary Mercer Estates wine and guest passes to the Club 24 gym downstairs. Located a short distance from the wineries of Vintner’s Village, Chukar Cherries and Brewmanatti, which offers coffee and snacks and is known for bringing in national acts for live music shows!
Alexander Nicole Cellars – Tiny Houses are for those who want to get away and be surrounded by the quiet beauty of hundreds of acres of vineyards and stunning views of the mighty Columbia River. There are four eclectic houses to choose from, ranging from 218 square feet to 392 square feet. But despite their tiny size, they pack a lot of unique features, such as wine on tap in the sink!
The Inn at Desert Wind Winery. Travel + Leisure’s pick for lodging in the Yakima Valley, is inspired by the upscale hotels of Santa Fe. Each of their tastefully appointed guest rooms is uniquely decorated and features hardwood floors and custom tile work, a gas kiva fireplace, a balcony overlooking the Yakima River, flat screen satellite televisions, premium linens and bath products, and a stocked mini-bar. Overnight guests receive a complimentary bottle of Desert Wind wine, plus a wine country breakfast delivered to their door each morning.
Canyon River Ranch lets you stay in an upscale, rustic lodge located along the Yakima River. February 16-18 is the Winter Mystery Weekend event. The All Inclusive Weekend Package they offer includes a two night stay in their luxurious lodge suites, two breakfasts, one lunch, and two dinners. Also included in the package is a viewing of three movies hand-picked by the lovely Liahna Armstrong, Professor of English and Film Studies at Central Washington University, to fit the theme of the event!
WHAT TO DO
Sometimes it’s the little extras that make an evening unforgettable. In addition to your wine tasting weekend, consider adding some of these unique adventures and entertainment opportunities.
Book a Horse Drawn Carriage Ride through the vineyards, stopping to taste at the wineries of the Rattlesnake Hills. This is sure to be a day of wine tasting you will always remember!
If the weather is warm, borrow a bike from Paridisos del Sol Winery and pedal along country roads to the wineries of the Rattlesnake Hills. This ride can be as short as down the street to a few wineries, or a country ride past miles of orchards and vineyards. Be sure to call ahead to guarantee the availability of their bikes.
Go riding with Red Mountain Trails and experience the wines and vineyards of Red Mountain from horseback! A tour unlike any other, you and your significant other will get “backstage access” to all that Red Mountain has to offer: fantastic wine, great hospitality, beautiful vistas and winding lanes among the vines. You can also sit back and relax in their big red wagon while their team of draft horses navigates the backroads of Red Mountain. Or you can enjoy a guided tour of the vineyards and wineries of Red Mountain from the comfort and style of their bike fleet. Your guide will provide personalized access to the backroads and tasting rooms of Red Mountain, and carry your wine purchases for you!
Refresh with a Couple’s Spa experience at Ummelinas International Day Spa, perfect for both of you, or as a special gift for her. Relax under a true waterfall or submerge in mineral springs and receive the natural healing and restorative properties of the flowing water. If you are staying at the Hotel Maison, they offer special spa packages, since Ummelina’s is located directly across the courtyard from the hotel.
Pick up some flowers for her at Kameo Flower Shop, or better yet, take her along and enjoy wine tasting at this unique shop. Naches Heights Vineyards‘ wines, among others, are regularly featured at their in-house wine bar. Yes, believe it or not you can really go wine tasting at a flower shop. With wine and flowers before dinner, it’s a great way to start the evening,
Attend a show at the Capitol Theatre! On February 17th, the acclaimed show Cantus will take the stage. Praised as “the premier men’s vocal ensemble,” Cantus performs innovative and engaging programming sifting across multiple musical genres with great virtuosity. Cantus is acknowledged around the world for their programmatic versatility, artistic excellence and charismatic personality, and it’s the perfect way to round out a romantic weekend.
Carousel Restaurant & Bistro – If you are looking for fine dining and a romantic restaurant experience, Carousel is the place. Since 2003, they have specialized in authentic French cuisine and continue to use the original recipes from the French chef who opened the restaurant.
Gasperetti’s – Yakima’s award-winning restaurant and a Valley tradition for over 50 years. They offer Italian specialties and an intimate dining experience.
Yakima Steak Company – located in Downtown Yakima, they partner with as many local purveyors as possible. Executive Chef Tom Bandy brings over 20 years experience to his kitchen, developing unforgettable flavors and presentations.
CASUAL UPSCALE DINING
Provisions – If you are in for a more casual dining expirence, Provisions is a great place to start. This is the Yakima Valley’s newest chef-driven, Pacific Northwest inspired restaurant with scratch recipes, regional craft beer and global wines. Try the Beef Braised Short Ribs, roasted salmon, or Chicken Maderia.
Crafted – Offers simple, seasonal, farm-to-table focused food. They believe that food (and beverages) should come directly from the source whenever possible, and the source for most every food source imaginable is the Yakima Valley!
Cowiche Canyon Kitchen & Icehouse Bar – A polished American tavern serving American classics inspired by the Pacific Northwest.