1. Plan Your Itinerary
Visit between three and four tasting rooms per day. Get the true tasting experience by lingering at each winery. A leisurely tasting will allow you time to let your sense pay attention to the flavors of each wine. Plan your itinerary so that at lunchtime you end up at a winery that has a picnic area.
2. Create Your Itinerary, Map, and Driving Directions
You can use the Interactive Search Tool on this website to choose the wineries you want to visit. This tool will allow you to build an itinerary, a map identifying each stop you have included in your itineary and turn by turn directions getting you to each stop. Simply create your tour and print out the map and driving directions.
3. Please Drink Responsibly
Discover the flavors of the Yakima Valley by sampling and drinking in moderation. Alcohol consumption is limited to people 21 years or older. Don't hesitate to sit; tasting rooms usually provide a container for this purpose.
4. Wine Tasting Etiquette
You and other wine tasters want to be able to evaluate a wine's aroma without competition. Avoid wearing stong scent or smoking immediately before visiting a tasting room. Be assured that is is "O.K." to pour out the remainder of a sample of wine which you don't finish.
5. Explore Beyond Your Favorite Wines
Every winemaker has a unique style and manner of finishing his/her wines, so a variety of wine (Merlot, Chardonnay, etc.) will taste differently at each winery. This is a great chance to taste wines that pique your curiosity.
6. Ask Questions
Whether you are a novice or expert, you will find friendly, knowledgeable hosts in the Valley's tasting rooms who want to pass on their passion for the Yakima Valley and the quality wines produced in the region. In fact, many times in the Yakima Valley, the person behind the tasting room counter is the owner and or winemaker. These committed wine enthusiasts love to talk wine, so a simple question can get you valuable information. Many wineries even supply you with their own tasting notes about the wines as well as information about the vineyard sources and growing conditions.
7. Tasting & Buying Wine at the Winery
Some tasting rooms may ask that you pay a fee to taste the wine. Some wineries apply this fee to a purchase. Others might include the glass. Occasionally wineries will run special sales. If the winery has a newsletter or mailig list, be sure to sign up. This way you will find out about special sales and events at the winery. If you had a great experience and enjoyed the wine, it's very appropriate to make a purchase.