Life at a winery in late October: The harvest is in, the grapes fermenting, the wines of the Yakima Valley of Washington ready for tasting. We signed up for Harvest Host, a program that connects us with farmers who allow RVers to park on their farmland.
Our first stop was at Knight Hill Winery where Terry and Anne Harrison run a winery with a beautiful view of the surrounding Rattlesnake Hills.
Walking through the area, we discovered an amazing variety of crops – apples, apricots, cherries, hops and grapes – grown on small and medium-size farms throughout the arid valley.
Terry showed us how he stirs the fermenting grapes twice a day to keep a hard shell of skins from developing. There are hundreds of variables – weather, grape quality, and aging – and Terry talked about how each of his ten years as a winemaker differed. The result of his work was extremely tasty - his 2011 Mourdevre wine was my favorite.
After two days on the hilltop we moved a couple of miles down the valley to Paradisos del Sol, a winery run by Paul Vandenberg and Barbara Sherman. Paul excels in blending wines and pairing them with food. In his tasting room he offers a dozen wines and a dozen bites of food from salty to sweet chocolate. Delicious!
Out back, the couple raise sheep, chicken and one big fat black pig. We went walking again and found apples trees in the midst of the harvest.
Listen as Johnny Cash & Lynn Anderson tear it up.
Where we are today.