Driving out from Seattle it took about 3 hours to Yakima. Once you get through the mountains, the scenes are breathtaking. Rolling brown and yellow hills, lots of sun, windmills and spots of green where areas are watered.
Mr. M, the kids and I arrived in Yakima, a small town, and made our way to KanaCellars first. We were surprised to find it is a tasting room in the middle of Yakima stores and restaurants. This would be a cute place to walk around for an hour or so. The Chamber of Commerce is just down the street and I thought about stopping in for maps, but we had too much to do.
Kana Winery was an interesting place. They source their grapes from around the area. Chris was pouring. As it was a Wednesday, the place was fairly empty. I had read that you cannot find these wines in stores so I had an agenda of what to buy. I had also read that their Dark Star blend was outstanding, so that is what I tried first. Dark Star was grippy, will age well, tannic, acidic with some fruit. I didn’t love it right off the bat so we went to the Tempranillo, which was outstanding. It was earthy and tabaccoey. It was a pretty outstanding Tempranillo. Next we tried Scarlet Fire, a red blend sourced from the Columbia Valley, which I ended up buying. This is a Mouvedre blend and Chris explained to me that it is very difficult to find this style because Mouvedre (“Muvedr” is it is pronounced) has to be grown in very dry areas. Otherwise this grape will soak up the water and be too fruity for a good wine. He also explained that the Rhone’s blends tend to be more Grenache, less Mouvedre because of this. I love a good GSM but this was definitely a special wine. The next one I tried was the Working Man’s Blend and it was VERY approachable, only $15, and I wish I bought a case of it. It was outstanding and jammy and just very yummy.
Downtown Yakima is a planned city and it looks like they have put some work in to update it and make it a nice walking town. I could see that Kana Cellars would be a fun place to party and hang out and they have live music on the weekends.The $5 tasting fee is waived if you buy a bottle. Chris was patient and answered all of my questions. The kids would need to sit at a table or hang out outside and shop, but it was a good first stop.