WA Wine Country Weekend Guide: Yakima Valley

Created in partnership with Birchfield Manor Inn & Restaurant

Whether you are coming for the sunshine, the wine, or even the hops, you’ve come to the right place for a fool proof guide to a fabulous weekend in Yakima Valley. If you are still considering WHY you would choose Yakima Valley, refer to my post WHY ‘TF’ Would You Go To Yakima?!.  If you are someone who bought into the idea that no one would ever go to Yakima in their right mind, it’s time to give it another look! If you follow this itinerary, you will be sure to have the perfect mix of an exciting and relaxing weekend in a peaceful oasis outside the city.

Yakima Valley has 5 touring wine regions. This guide focuses on Rattlesnake Hills area, which is about 20 minutes from where we stayed – Birchfield Manor Inn & Restaurant. There are more amazing wineries and breweries than you could ever visit in one weekend, so I recommend you break it up and focus on one region at a time. Then you’ll have something new to explore each time you go back! 

Quick reference guide: Rattle Snake Hills DIY Tasting Tour

-DAY 1-

Kick off your WA Wine Country Weekend with a vineyard tour lead by the wine maker, Phil Cline, of Naches Heights.

Enjoy an educational tour of the vineyard and learn about the climate of the region and how it effects the types of grapes grown there. End the experience with a private tasting at the wine maker’s house. His home was custom designed by his wife, a dream home built on the farm land where his family has farmed for generations.

After a more intimate experience at Naches Heights, head back closer to town and stop at Treveri Cellars for a complimentary sparkling tasting wine flight! Grab a flatbread pizza to snack on and order a sparkling wine cocktail made from your favorite bubbly from the flight. If you are a sparkling wine fan, this is a great place to stock up on bottles for the room & pool! Their prices are very reasonable. My favorite retails for just $20! Treveri wines can also be purchased at your local Trader Joes.

Depending on your energy level (and how tipsy you may be feeling), you can opt to head next door to Treveri for a tasting experience at Owen Roe Winery. Day tasting can be a bit exhausting, and the last thing you want is to wear yourself out on day one or put yourself in a position where you are unable to drive. We decided to skip the tasting and order a bottle of Owen Roe cab at dinner. It was phenomenal! They pride themselves on the quality of their wines, and its a difference you can definitely taste.

The afternoon is when the sun perfectly hit the pool at our hotel, so heading back during this time was the perfect way to relax and refresh before dinner. We built lots of time into our itinerary specifically for relaxing to ensure the trip was rejuvenating and would allow us to switch things around if needed. The Birchfield Manor Inn is definitely the way to go if relaxation is your goal. Amenities such as the in-room jacuzzi, pool, on site restaurant, and option for complimentary breakfast to be served up to the room took this trip to the next level.

Birchfield Manor is considered a Luxury Bed and Breakfast. If you enjoy the coziness and personality of an AirBnb or Bnb, but want the luxuries most hotels have to offer, this is the best of both worlds. Plus, its tucked away in the valley so you won’t feel like you are staying right in the city. This doesn’t mean its far away – its only about 7-10 minutes from town. You really can’t go wrong when you stay here. More on The Birchfield Manor Restaurant below!

Quick note: When booking your stay, enter promotional code ‘SKYE’ while searching for your reservation. You’ll receive a surprise gift from Chef Masset upon check in! Valid through December 31, 2019.

If you’re feeling frisky, stop into the tasting room at Antolin Cellars downtown for a $4 wine flight before dinner! Once you get to Carousel, if the sun has gone down, its nice enough to sit outside on the patio for dinner and enjoy the warm weather. Highlights of the meal were the scallops and the mash potatoes. 10/10 recommend.

-Day 2-

In partnership with Ummelina Spa Retreat Yakima

Start day 2 off with gourmet breakfast at the hotel completely complimentary with your stay. Breakfast is served at 8:30am every morning in the dinning room but can also be requested to be brought up to the room.

From there, take a short drive to Ummelina Day Spa to completely destress. The aromatherapeutic approach to the spa experience takes your relaxation to the next level and customizes the experience to you. You’ll choose an aroma that will be infused in all the products they will use during your “journey,” or chosen services. I chose “uplift” for my aroma, and I took home the environment enhancing mist they used on me. It is the perfect pick me up any time I’m feeling tired, losing focus, or just want to feel refreshed throughout the day.

At minimum, you absolutely must choose a package that includes the Japanese Soak and a massage. On top of that you can also get mani/pedi, facial, or a whole host of other services to fit your needs. Check out their menu here. I am someone who has felt uncomfortable in spas before, especially as a first timer. A spa experience SHOULD NOT be stressful, and should never make you feel uncomfortable or confused. The staff at Ummelina were incredibly friendly and it is clear their packages have been intentionally created with little moments to help you feel comfortable, ask questions, and get to know the staff. For example, they start off with an aromatic foot bath where you get to know your masseuse and discuss your goals for the massage.

To wrap up your relaxation time, lunch and wine are available in the temple garden to help you ease back into the real world. Before you leave Ummelina, don’t forget to book a follow up appointment back home in Seattle! Their Seattle location is located near Pike Place Market.

Even after a full day of relaxing at Ummelina, you’ll be surprisingly exhausted. We opted for a nap and then another afternoon by the pool before dinner at the Manor. If you get a sudden burst of energy, you could always ‘hop’ over to Bale Breaker Brewery for a beer flight! The hops used to make the beer are grown right there on the site and the brewery is even walking distance from the Manor.

Dinner at the Manor is an experience unlike anything I’ve ever had. 5 courses – farm to table – each dish imagined and created by award winning Chef and owner of the Manor, Brad Masset. Brad grew up on the property and now continues the legacy of the Manor. While you absolutely should stay here to get the full experience, even stopping by just for dinner will be well worth your time. Dinner is served every night at 7pm, and the menu comes at a flat rate depending on your choice of protein. We opted for the duck & filet mignon, and they did not disappoint. We easily would expect to pay triple if not quadruple for the same quality of meal in Seattle, so this was a treat, and we will definitely be back!

-Day 3-

In partnership with VanArnam Vineyards

Anyone a fan of a slow morning? The best way to have a relaxing morning at the Manor is to request your breakfast be brought up to the room. You’ll still get the full spread doing it this way and you don’t even have to leave the bed (especially if you have a nice boyfriend who will open the door and let them in for you?!) Take your time getting ready and be sure to hydrate before a full day of tasting and vineyard exploring!

Guiding your own tour is a great way to ensure you have flexibility during your tasting experiences so you can fully enjoy your time at each winery. These three spots are some of the most highly recommended locally, and are conveniently placed just minutes from one another.

Keep in mind many of these wineries are not open during the week, and most close around 5pm. That is why this itinerary has you visiting Rattle Snake Hills on Saturday! Remember, it’s never to early to start sipping wine when you’re in wine country!

We definitely under estimated the amount of time we would spend at each winery. In order to fully savor the tasting rather than power through a flight of “wine shots,” you need about an hour, maybe more. We recommend about a max of 3 wineries at a time, again especially if you are driving!

Stop 1: J.Bell Cellars

Stop 2: VanArnam Vineyards

Stop 3: Two Mountain Winery

One thing to note about Rattlesnake hills is it is about 25 minutes from downtown Yakima. There are not a ton of food options out in the valley. We recommend packing a picnic OR stopping at VanArnam Vineyards between stops to taste their fabulous wine and eat at their Tin Roof Grill. Here you’ll enjoy delicious food while overlooking views of sweeping vineyards and Mount Adams. You may also meet the VanArnam’s adorable black lab, River, who loves to run around the vineyard, eating the grapes and taking naps.

Many of the Rattlesnake Hills vineyards offer a series of summer concerts. If you come during the summer, I definitely recommend you try to fit one in. Keep in mind most wineries close at 5, so it isn’t common to catch the sunset. Watching the sunset over the valley is an experience you won’t want to miss! For concert schedules check out the VanArnam Vineyards events calendar.

Ready to book your trip?! I am already ready to go back. If you have any questions, please comment below!

For a comprehensive list of food and winery recommendations, refer to my previous post!

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