Instead of standing in lines with the crowds the day after Thanksgiving, pack up some turkey sandwiches, grab a couple of wine glasses and hit the road for a wine tour.
Two winery groups are holding open house specials: The wineries of the Yakima Valley -- more than 50 of them -- and the 16 wineries of the Rattlesnake Hills group.
-- Wine Yakima Valley -- On Nov. 26-27 wineries in the Yakima Valley will be celebrating Thanksgiving in wine country. More than 50 wineries will hold open houses, offering a chance to meet winemakers and chefs, taste library wines and new releases, nibble on savory tidbits and tour wineries. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Buy a premier pass at the door for $35 and you will be treated to special food and wine pairings, library tastings and tours not available to the public. You get a 15-ounce wine glass with each pass.
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For a complete list of participating wineries, directions and discounts and specials available at each, go to www.wineyakimavalley.org. You also will find a list on the website of which wineries are selling the premier passes during the event.
-- Thanksgiving Rattlesnake Hills Style -- On Nov. 26-28 the 16 wineries on the Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail in the Zillah area will be offering gourmet food, wine pairings, new wine releases and a chance to hobnob with winemakers and winery owners.
No ticket is required to experience all of the benefits, including gourmet foods and hand-crafted wines, but you may want to purchase a passport for $10 to receive discounts on wine purchases and free reserve wine tastings. Passports are sold at all the wineries.
You will need to take a glass or buy one at your first winery stop. Some wineries may charge a tasting fee.
For a complete list of participating wineries, directions and the discounts and specials available at each, go to www. rattlesnakehills.com or call 888-375-7498.