PROSSER -- There's no mistaking the new 14 Hands Vineyards tasting room in Prosser.
There's a giant mural of the winery's label featuring three running horses painted on the side of the building.
"And a huge, bright orange front door," said Jeriann LeBlanc, guest service manager at the tasting room. "You can't miss it."
The winery name was inspired by the wild mustangs that once roamed the hills and valleys of the Mid-Columbia. Horses are measured in hands -- increments of 4 inches -- from the ground to the top of their shoulder. Those tough little horses stood about 56 inches tall.
The tasting room, which opened Feb. 3, is at 660 Frontier Road. If driving from the Tri-Cities, take the first Prosser exit off Interstate 82, exit 82.
LeBlanc and the rest of the tasting room staff are eager for the coming weekend.
That's when many of the wineries in the Yakima Valley, including 14 Hands, will be celebrating Red Wine & Chocolate. The event runs Feb. 15-16 and each winery will have a rich, decadent treat to sample with their vintages.
At 14 Hands, visitors can sample chocolates made with Cabernet from Baum's House of Chocolate & Gourmet Popcorn in West Richland.
The tasting room building is the former Snoqualmie facility, which has been extensively remodeled and expanded.
"The decor inside and out is unique," said LeBlanc, describing it as "rustic, with lots of barn wood and metals and a huge fireplace."
Outdoors is a fountain, which includes a metal sculpture of several horses.
"When we add the water, it'll look they're running through it," she said.
There is a charge for tasting which will be waived with a purchase. The first tier costs $5, the second tier, all reserve wines, is $7.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Phone: 509-786-5514. Website: www.14hands.com.
-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org