Freehand Cellars

Yakima Valley Wine Tasting

Sunday October 6th was our drive home from Lakewood and Steilacoom, WA.  After spending our Saturday in Elbe, Washington on the Washington Wine Express, we decided to continue our wine escapade weekend with some Yakima Valley Wine Tasting!  This time we planned to visit some tasting rooms we had never visited before on our way back home.  On this beautiful day we were fortunate enough to taste at four different wineries, each very unique and a really cool experience!

Our 1st stop was Wilridge Winery in the Northwest Yakima area on the way to Naches.  This place has its own vineyard, wine tasting room and a distillery!  The views are amazing and the entire “campus” makes you feel at home.  Their wine list is very diverse and pretty wide, with very nice price points across the board.  They offer dessert wines, port style wines, whites and rosés.  Additionally, they offer Italian varietal wines, Bordeaux varietal and blended wines and Rhône varietal wines as well!

The next stop was Freehand Cellars.  This tasting room is an architectural marvel!  Beautifully designed and built with a fabulous view of the upper Yakima valley from the slopes of Parker Heights.  As it turns out, Travis Maple (of Airfield Winery fame) also makes the wine for this winery.  On this day, Jamie Harris walked us through the tastings.  Jamie was well versed in wine and  wise beyond her years with recent experiences in France.  She brought a nice vibe to the discussion and her passion for the wines was contagious!

The five wines we tasted included a Pinot Gris, an Oaked Chardonnay, a light bodied Syrah, a delicious Cabernet Franc and my favorite – a Cabernet Sauvignon!  The two whites were from the 2018 vintage, while the three reds were all from the 2017 vintage.  The price points were fantastic, with nothing over $30!  This place is going to do GREAT things for Yakima Valley wine tasting!!

Our next two stops were both located in Sunnyside, WA.  We had already planned to visit these two iconic tasting rooms on multiple occasions and today was the day we would visit both.  Our third stop was Côte Bonneville Winery, and we were fortunate enough to have J. J. Compeau greet us and spend some time educating us on all of the history and amazing wine creations at this winery.

Their wines are generally beautiful, elegant, big and noteworthy!  Regardless of what wine you select to taste, they have generally been highly rated over a consistent period of time.  This is the mark of some exquisite winemaking and a philosophy that requires high quality grapes and high standards across the board.  I fell in love with the 2012 Dubrul – Côte Bonneville, and had to walk away with this amazing gem.  We will most CERTAINLY return to this fine establishment!

Our final stop was Co Dinn Cellars.  This tasting room was also very inviting with a fairly urban-industrial-chic vibe inside.  We really liked the ambiance, but the real bonus here was that Coman Dinn (owner and winemaker) greeted us and walked us through the tasting.  In addition, he was able to fill us in on the history of his winery as well.

The tasting included two Chardonnays, a 2013 and a 2015, a 2014 GSM and a 2014 Syrah, a 2015 Elephant Mountain Bordeaux blend and a 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Painted Hills Vineyard.  I especially enjoyed the GSM and the two Bordeaux style reds.  This was a fantastic day, and we now have more go-to tasting rooms for Yakima Valley wine tasting that we are sure to recommend!  Until next time!  Cheers!!!

Aaron Diaz