The sweet aroma of grape juice will be hanging heavily in the air in the Yakima Valley next week as almost 50 wineries rush full tilt into crush. Harvest will be in full swing as wineries from Benton City to Yakima celebrate Catch the Crush from Oct. 13-14
Each winery will have its own celebrations, including grape stomps, harvest and crush activities, tours, free-run juice to sample, hors d'oeuvres, live music and, of course, wines to sample.
Some of the events are free, but buy a Premier Pass and you will be able to enjoy exclusive benefits including specialty food-wine pairings, library tastings and tours not available to the public.
Passes cost $35 and are available at participating wineries -- see the list at http://wineyakimavalley.org. Or, save $5 by buying online at the same website.
Passes are nonrefundable, but can be transferred to another Wine Yakima Valley event if unused.
One special event -- at Claar Cellars in Zillah -- is the winery's annual "Help Stomp Out Breast Cancer" grape stomp on Oct. 13-14. Barrels of grapes will be available for fun and photos from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.
At 5 p.m. Saturday there will be a competition. Teams of two -- one stomping, one catching the juice in a wine bottle -- will compete for the right to call themselves Champion Grape Stompers. At least until next year.
There is a $5 entry fee. Proceeds will go The Lourdes Foundation and Lourdes Health Network who offer uninsured women free mammograms.
Pre-register at firstname.lastname@example.org and you'll receive a pink "Help Stomp Out Breast Cancer" bracelet.
Shellfish, music and wine
White Heron Cellars in Quincy is holding a shellfish festival from 1 to 6 p.m. Oct. 6.
Chef Spencer Peet of the Sun Dial Bistro in Soap Lake will be preparing three types of oysters, mussels, clams, poor boy sandwiches and, for non-shellfish lovers, his Texas Chile. For starters he'll have geoduck saviche and bruschetta.
Reservations are required, call the winery 509-797-9463.
There will also be live music by Patrick Foster & the Locomotive.
Cost is $10 at the door for the music, the shellfish can be purchased separately.
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