Watch grapes being crushed for fermenting, enjoy special tours and tastings, and sample sweet and savory tidbits during Catch the Crush weekend Oct. 12-13.
Forty of the Yakima Valley wineries are promoting Catch the Crush with special events, wine and food sampling and entertainment.
It's a hectic time for the wineries because they're crushing, said Barbara Glover of Wine Yakima Valley, the association representing wineries in the Yakima Valley.
"This is the time of year you can actually see the operation and taste the wine grapes before they're fermented. There aren't a lot of opportunities to do that," she said.
To really take advantage of the event, Glover recommends buying a Premier Pass wristband, which includes a map with detailed information on the wineries.
"At $30, it's a good value because most wineries will waive tasting fees for those with a Premier Pass," she said.
Premier Pass holders also get discounts on wine purchases, a chance to talk to the winemakers, take in entertainment and taste an array of sweet and savory foods.
Do remember to take a wine glass along or buy one at your first stop. Tasting room workers won't have time to wash glasses during the busy weekend.
To buy a Premier Pass, find out what events are scheduled at the wineries or check the hours they're open, go to www.wineyakimavalley.org.
Some wineries will have the wristbands available for sale during the event. A list of them is on the website.
Dinner and bids in Eltopia
St. Paul's Catholic Church in Eltopia plans a dinner and auction Oct. 26. The dinner -- pork loin, chicken, baked beans, roasted potatoes and pasta salad -- is from 5 to 7 p.m.
A silent auction will be held during the dinner. The live auction begins at 7 p.m.
Cost for the dinner is $20 for adults, $10 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for children 5 and under.
The church is at 14181 Glade North Road, 5 miles west after the Eltopia exit from Highway 395, one mile north of Merrill's Corner.
The book: The Crimson Spoon: Plating Regional Cuisine on the Palouse by Jamie Callison and Linda Burner Augustine.
Best for: The authors have gathered 105 low-effort recipes anyone can follow to create memorable meals showcasing regional ingredients, including Cougar Gold cheeses.
To order, call Washington State University at 800-457-5442.
-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org.