Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spring Bicycle Touring in Washington Wine Country!

Cycling over rolling hills on scenic country roads, past fruit orchards, irrigation canals and vineyards; Spring riding in the Yakima Valley is beautiful! The fruit trees are in bloom, the sun is shining, the weather is warm and the over 70 wineries are premiering their new spring barrel releases. Discover the joy of a healthy endeavor while learning about and tasting the wines of the Yakima Valley. Choose a short (1), medium (a) or long (b) bike ride.

(1)Short Ride approximately 4 miles Two Mountain Winery is your starting point, allowing riders to park and unload bicycles at the winery. Want to get an early start? No problem! You do not have to wait for the winery to open, just park and go.
Two Mountain Winery: Established in 2002, this is a family-owned winery nestled in the Rattlesnake Hills within the Yakima Valley wine region of Washington State. Brothers Matthew and Patrick Rawn own and operate the winery and estate vineyard, drawing on the experience of three generations who have farmed the rich soil of the Yakima Valley.
As you leave Two Mountain Winery turn to the right on Cheyne Road then left onto Gilbert Road. Hyatt Winery will be on your left.
Hyatt Vineyards was established by Leland and Lynda Hyatt in 1983. Evolving from a modest estate vineyard surrounding the winery, Hyatt Vineyards has grown to 180 acres in four separate sites all within 3 miles of the original plantings.
From Hyatt continue on Gilbert Road, turn left onto Bonair Road, Wineglass cellars will be on your right.
Wineglass Cellars: Owners David and Linda Lowe, with son Jeff, say Wineglass Cellars is as much about having fun as it is about selling wine. A visit to the winery shows you what they mean. Stop by to make a friend and drink their award winning wine.
Tanjuli Winery: Yakima Valley's newest winery building. The winemaker/owner, Tom Campbell brings 30 years of fine winemaking experience to the valley.
At intersection of Bonair Road and Highland go straight to visit Bonair Winery or turn left to continue on.
Bonair Winery (unpaved road): Bonair Winery farms 40 acres of estate vineyards in the Rattlesnake Hills of the Yakima Valley to ensure the quality grapes that make their wine. You pass the Morrison Vineyards on the way to The Ch√Ęteau Puryear Vineyard and winery. Sit by their duck pond, relax, and enjoy the beauty of the day.
Leaving Bonair, turn right onto Highland. The short ride (1) proceeds along Highland to turn left at Cheyne, and return to Two Mountain winery.

· (a)Medium Ride approximately 12 Miles. Continuing along Highland, you will see 3 wineries. (for longest ride skip to (b)
Christopher Cellars: Abundant sunshine, late summer heat, the ability to apply just the right amount of water at the right time, all contribute to producing the perfect wine grape. Winemakers from around the state seek out grapes from the Zillah area.
Cultura Cellars: Handcrafted limited edition premium w. ines from the Yakima Valley in Zillah, Washington Fine wines can only be achieved by personally controlling the whole process from planting the vines, aging in French oak barrels, to bottling!
Paradisos del Sol:”Wine should be very pure and natural. The only thing synthetic about our wine is the plastic cork, so you never have to worry about getting a “corked” wine. We drink more of our wine than anyone else; we want it to be healthful and nutritious. We guarantee our wine. BUT . . . it has to be distinctive wine. Wine with full, rich flavor, Wine that makes food and friends better. Wine that makes music in the glass sings on the tongue to tell where it grew. Wine you can afford to drink. Wine made by Paradisos del Sol.”
Turn left on Vintage road and follow the upward slope to Silver Lake Winery.
Silver Lake Winery released its first vintage in the fall of 1989. In the past fifteen years the winery has grown from 2,000 cases to more than 50,000 cases of hand crafted wine annually. The winery began as the outgrowth of the passion for fine wines shared by three professors at the University of Washington and a local real estate investor. Today, Silver Lake is owned by over 1,200 wine enthusiasts who have pooled their resources together to make Silver Lake one of the state’s largest locally owned wineries. Roza Hills Vineyard, Silver Lake’s primary source of grapes, are located In Zillah, Washington, in the heart of the Rattlesnake Hills AVA.
Return back the same way to turn right on Highland. Turn right onto Roza Hill Drive passing Agate Field Winery turning left onto Gilbert Road and then left onto Cheyne and back to Two Mountain Winery.

· (b)Longest Ride (approximately 25 miles): Continue along Highland Turn right on Cheyne Road, left on the Yakima Valley Highway, left onto East Zillah Drive will bring you past Horizons Edge Winery.
Horizon's Edge Winery sits among the winery's 18-acre vineyard with panoramic views from the tasting room which include Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier.
Leaving Horizons Edge, turn left onto Beam and continue to work left on Houghton Road to Highland Drive.
Portteus Winery (unpaved road): Red-wine lovers’ destination for over 20 years! Now with indoor plumbing! Red Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Malbec, a Cabernet Port, and Chardonnay! Portteus Vineyards, established in 1981, is one of Washington’s only 100% Estate-bottled wineries and has recently been recognized as “One of America’s Great Cabernet Producers” by Wine Enthusiast magazine.
Take Vintage out to Silver Lake Winery. Return back the same way to Highland and turn right onto Roza Hill Drive passing Agate Field Vineyard.
Agate Field: A small family owned and operated vineyard and winery located on a hill overlooking Whiskey Canyon where the soil is optimal for growing wine grapes. The volcanic soil and the lay of the land make the perfect location for the best growing conditions. The fields are full of beautiful agates rich in color and clarity. The same is true of the wines produced from Agate Field Vineyards.
Leaving Agate Field turn right onto Roza Hill Drive turning left onto Gilbert and then left onto Cheyne and back to Two Mountain Winery.

Preparations for your ride Yakima Valley: Goat heads a low-growing weed with 2 sharp thorns that puncture bike tires. Use thorn proof tires, plastic thorn shields or bring extra tube and bicycle tire slime.

The Yakima Valley blog articles feature members of the Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau. If you would like to receive information regarding membership, Click here, or to request a membership application, please contact Michele Hopkins at (509) 575-3010.

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