Northwest Road Trip: The Ale and Wine Trail
Hit Eastern Washington and Oregon's best tasting rooms
THE ROUTE: Yakima, WA > Moxee, WA > Benton City, WA > Milton-Freewater, OR > Walla Walla, WA (150 miles).
WHY GO: Eastern Washington and Oregon let both beer and wine lovers see the ag roots of their preferred libation—and offer an excellent range of tasting rooms.
WHO IT’S FOR: Enophiles and hopheads who travel together.
WHERE TO STAY: Desert Wind Winery has four guest rooms above their adobe tasting room near Prosser. For a deluxe stay near Walla Walla, try The Inn at Abeja, where guests have access to the winery’s tasting room. Desert Wind: From $275, including tasting; desertwindwinery.com. Abeja: From $245, including tasting; abeja.net.
Yakima Craft Brewing Co. Yakima’s original craft brewery has a very small taproom but a broad range of fresh ales, all of them brewed on-site. No tasting fee; yakimacraftbrewing.com
Gilbert Cellars. From rosé to Riesling, the chic tasting room has downtown Yakima’s best palate pleasers. $5 tasting; gilbertcellars.com
Bale Breaker Brewing Co. Nestled between acres of hops first planted in the late 1800s, the popular new Moxee brewery offers tastings in its Baling Room and brewery tours. Tasting from $3; tours on Sat; balebreaker.com
Red Mountain AVA. Find a taste of France—palatial château included—at Hedges Family Estate, balanced Bordeaux-style reds at Cooper Wine Company, or luxurious Cabernets at Col Solare, all in Benton City in the Red Mountain region. Hedges: $5 tasting; hedgesfamilyestate.com. Cooper: $10 tasting; cooperwinecompany.com. Col Solare: No tasting fee Sat; colsolare.com.
Dragon’s Gate Brewery. Small-batch Belgian-style ales are crafted with hops grown at Dragon’s Gate Farm in Milton-Freewater, Oregon. No tasting fee; dragonsgatebrewery.com
Charles Smith Wines. Taste award-winning wines with names like “Eve” and “Boom Boom” in a converted downtown Walla Walla auto warehouse that also has sidewalk seating. Tasting from $5; charlessmithwines.com
DETOUR: Milton-Freewater, OR. A wine-and-chocolate pairing at Petits Noirs, a boutique chocolatier. petitsnoirs.com
BEST ROAD FOOD: Housemade pork tamales. The hokey Country Mercantile in Pasco, WA, has every car snack imaginable, but you’ll want to sit down for a plate of the tamales. $; countrymercantile.com
PLUS: Two Mountain Winery. Do a movie and dinner at the vineyards in Zillah, WA. Aug 10 and 31; twomountainwinery.com