We'd decided to go to Yakima, simply because it's a nice drive and you can get more produce for the buck over on the sunny side of the mountains. I was in search of tomatoes, mostly, being on this spaghetti sauce and salsa kick. But peaches and other things would be acceptable as well, if prices were good.
We weren't exactly sure where to go---we'd heard rumors that Kruegger's Pepper Farm wasn't all that it used to be (and it's true, for a good reason. Mr. Kruegger died a year or so ago, and they've closed their operation). We stopped at the little Visitor's center, just past the "Welcome to Yakima, The Palm Springs of Washington" sign (would I lie about a sign like that?) for some inspiration. We found the Yakima Valley Winery Tour guide, and the Valley Agricultural Guide.
Armed with our new information, we headed for our first stop, Sagelands Winery (hey, it was on the way to the produce). We joined the wine club, and bought some wine...and headed to another winery (again, on the way to where the produce was!). Windy Point Winery just opened this spring--the tasting room is a table in the corner of their warehouse--but you can see that they're going to have a magnificent facility next year. Add a couple bottles to the box. Bonaire Winery is known for its mead, which was quite yummy, and we bought some nice red wine there, too. From here, we did find the highly recommended produce place (which we probably wouldn't have found without directions....one little sign off the old Yakima Valley Highway pointed us off into the Zillah wilderness to Jones Produce. 4 boxes of tomatoes, a bag of jalepeno's, 2 turban squash (one is already named "Pie"), a big butternut squash, peaches and an apple for us. At least that much produce for John's folks.
But look! A sign for Portteus, the winery supposedly known for it's big, bold reds....And their wonderful port. Yum. And sharing a tasting room with Portteus was Paradiso del Sol Winery. Bonus, two wineries with one stop!
It was lots of fun. We had the back of the land rover filled with produce and wine and had a lovely drive.
And it rained. The air smelled so heavenly. Rain.
Seattle went 61 days with temperatures reaching at least 70, and very little percepitation. A week of rain is a nice break.