Top 10 mini wine country escapes
Our staff's pick of the West's best wineries for a quick escape
Light out for the Wild West in Yakima Valley, WA
Mix wine and equine at Cherry Wood Bed, Breakfast, and Barn, where horseback tours take you through Washington’s sunny Rattlesnake Hills AVA. As you taste your way through smaller producers like Agate Field Vineyard, Sheridan Vineyard, and Wineglass Cellars, you’ll learn that Yakima’s wine region isn’t just up-and-coming―it’s here. Info: Horseback tours $150; cherrywoodbbandb.com or 509/829-3500. Bonus tip: For a true taste of winter in the chilly Wild West, bundle up and stay the night in one of Cherry Wood’s well-appointed but unheated tipis ($145, including breakfast). Don’t pass up the apple or cherry turnovers if they’re served for breakfast. And bring plenty of extra fleece.
Join the party in Willamette Valley, OR
Music, food, otherwise unavailable wines, and a convivial (but crowded) atmosphere are what you’ll find at the Willamette Valley’s Wine Country Thanksgiving open houses, when wineries welcome the masses. Info: willamettewines.com for a list of participating wineries and fees. Bonus tip: Hate crowds? Go earlier in the month and hit Winderlea Vineyard & Winery (call for hours; $10 tasting fee; winderlea.com or 503/554-5900), which floats over some of the valley’s oldest vines; cozy Lange Estate Winery ($10 tasting fee; langewinery.com or 503/538-6476), where you can sip singer-songwriter Don Lange and son Jesse’s wines in a new tasting building; and Penner-Ash Wine Cellars (call for hours; $5 tasting fee; pennerash.com or 503/554-5545), which has views to Mt. Hood on clear days.
Yakima Valley, WA
Tipis at Cherry Wood
Baja California, Mexico
Don and Tru Miller at their winery, Adobe Guadalupe, one of many along La Ruta del Vino.
San Luis Obispo, CA
Walla Walla, WA