ZILLAH -- Visit Zillah next weekend for savory foods, primo vintages, classic cars and music.
Wineries of the Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail -- which extends through Wapato, Zillah, Granger and Outlook -- will be kicking off the spring wine touring season with a pre-barrel tasting celebration April 17-18.
The 17 wineries (off Interstate 82 from exits 44 to 63) will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the tasting, and visitors will be able to sample wines directly from the barrel and new releases. Many of the wineries also will have savory tidbits to nibble. A few will have artists and crafts vendors and games to play.
Tasting is free, but take along a glass or plan to buy one at the first stop.
One of the advantages of touring now -- before the official Spring Barrel Tasting weekend April 23-25 -- is that the crowds will be lighter and the winery staff and owners better able to chat. The wineries also will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during Spring Barrel Tasting weekend.
Remember to take a Rattlesnake Hills Passport or buy one for $10. It entitles you to discounts on wine and free reserve tastings at various wineries. Have it stamped at 10 wineries and you'll be added to the invitation list for the Passport Party later in the year, where you'll be wined and dined by Rattlesnake Hills winemakers.
On April 17, Zillah will celebrate the seventh annual Spring Fling Wine Tasting and Car & Bike Show.
At noon, stroll down Main Street and enjoy the classic car and bike show.
At 6:30 p.m., head for the Old Warehouse Furniture Store, 706 Railroad Ave., for a wine tasting with members of the Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail. There'll be food too -- grilled oysters, prime rib rolls, shrimp cocktails and more -- and lots of it.
There also will be live music by Country Rock Association of Seattle.
Tickets are $35 and will not be sold at the door. Buy them at http://zillahspringfling.com.
For more information on the Spring Fling, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 509-945-3506.
For more information on the pre-barrel tasting, go to www.rattlesnakehills.com or call 888-375-7498.
*Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; email@example.com