A Taste of the Yakima Valley on Elephant Mountain

Up until about a month ago, I thought that Yakima was simply a brand of sporty car rooftop carriers.  It turns out that Yakima is also a charming town in eastern Washington state, and the Yakima Valley is not only stunningly beautiful, but creates some amazing red wines!

I was fortunate enough to attend a pre-conference excursion in this lovely area for the Wine Bloggers conference 2018.  Our group headed up to the very scenic Elephant Mountain Vineyards, where owner Joe Hattrup has grown an impressive number and variety of grapes.  As you can see from the vineyard map, there is everything from Merlot to Sangiovese to Petit Verdot, with some Riesling thrown in for good measure.  It is situated  high on the southern slopes of the Rattlesnake Ridge at the base of Elephant Mountain, south-facing, with beautiful vistas of the valley below.  The latitude here is similar to that of the Bordeaux region in France.  

Here is my lovely sister Jen enjoying the view!

On this excursion, we were offered a variety of very high-quality wines from Washington state.  One of my favourites was the 2013 Mourvèdre “Eleven” with grapes sourced from Elephant Mountain vineyards.  In the glass, it was a deep red, earthy and robust, bursting with flavours of deep, dark berries.

I sampled most, if not all of the wines shown in this photo, and they were all excellent! The Co Dinn red blend shown, also from the Elephant Mountain region, was another standout.

If you are considering a road trip through Washington state, I highly recommend a visit to this stunning region.  You will be blown away by the beauty of the valley, and the amazing quality of the wines!