The sun is out, the weather is getting warmer and new growth is starting to show on the vines in Eastern Washington vineyards. That means wineries are ready to throw open the doors and de-bung the barrels for curious consumers and festival-loving travelers.
For those who would like to avoid the crowd of Spring Barrel Tasting weekend, the wineries along the Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail in the Zillah area are offering a sneak peek April 20-21. This is your chance to get an early start on tasting new releases and stocking your wine cellar for summer festivities.
Some of the wineries will have snacks to go with their vintages. Don't miss the dark chocolate brownies at Agate Field Winery or the wood-fired pizzas -- not free -- but still tasty, at Steppe Cellars on Saturday.
The wineries generally will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a few keeping the wine pouring until 6 p.m.
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Some wineries will charge a tasting fee, but it's usually waived with a purchase.
Be sure to take a wine glass along, since there won't be time for dishwashing.
Buy a Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail Passport for $10 at any winery along the trail and you'll be eligible for extra goodies and discounts.
Call or email the Rattlesnake Hills office for more information and a list of events going on at each winery: 509-882-4525 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Or go to www.rattlesnakehills.org.
While you're in the area, plan to attend the Zillah Spring Fling on April 20. This annual event includes vintages from the Rattlesnake Wine Trail wineries, plenty of food -- including grilled oysters and prime rib rolls -- music and dancing.
The event begins at noon with a Classic Car and Bike Show along Zillah's Main Street. Then, at 6 p.m., the food and fun begins at the Old Furniture Warehouse Event Center.
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A package of 18 wipes costs $9 and is available at www.gratechef.com.
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