Chandler Reach Winery – Benton City, WA

Chandler Reach is a beautiful winery sitting above the Yakima River in Benton City, WA. Owner Len Parris, a charismatic guy inspired by a visit to Italy in 1997, has done an incredible job on this property, creating a facility that oozes old world charm. And produces some mighty fine wine.

The third Thursday of the month, April through October, they have an Italian Night Dinner. Reservations required, seating limited to 48 guests. These dinners consistently sell out, so book early. Check the web site for dates.

Kestrel Vintners – Prosser, WA

Today I am at Kestrel Vintners in Prosser, WA. I start by chatting with Asst. Winemaker Dirk Brink about the ’06 Mourvedre they have released. The charming accent is South African, and the wine is just plain excellent.

I also speak with Carlos Trevino, Director of Hospitality about the Salumi Salami and exotic cheese selections they have in the deli case. They will be featuring these in the upcoming Sip and Stroll events on Friday nights. A number of wineries just off of exit 82 in Prosser will be taking part in these events. Kestrel is choosing to call theirs Flights and Bites on Friday Nights. Love it.

Tasawik Vineyards

This was a glorious morning out at Tasawik Vineyards above the Snake River with owners Erik Dahle and Sara Broetje. This is a beautiful site, a real winemaker’s dream. They currently have 7 acres planted on the hand-carved terraces above the river with plans to plant 50 more acres next spring.

They also have a tasting room in Prosser, WA at the Winemaker’s Loft. Their ’05 Reserve Merlot just won a Double Gold at the West Coast Wine Competition.