The Best 3 Vineyards for Wine Tasting in the Tri-Cities

Wine Tasting in Tri-Cities

A few weeks ago, I took an impulse trip to the tri-cities to visit my Mom, Dad and Aunt. My Mom had called me up, asking if we’d head up for the weekend to go see her cousin in an Eagle’s tribute band, and go wine tasting. While an Eagle’s Tribute band isn’t really my thing, wine tasting definitely is! So my boyfriend and I loaded up the car Friday night and headed up to the Tri-cities. This was a big deal for many reasons.
  1. This was my boyfriend and my first real road trip together! You’d think after four and a half years one would have happened by now, but nope this was our first one.
  2. It had been since Easter that I’d seen my parents, and for us that is quite some time.
The trip to Tri-cities is only five or so hours, so it really isn’t that far. While I am well-versed in the land of road trips, my boyfriend is not so much. (Apparently his family didn’t quite as often feel the need to throw their kids in an enclosed space for eight hours 😊 ) It really evoked memories from my childhood. I had curated a perfect road trip playlist; we tentatively planned our stops on the way, and we were all packed up and ready for the adventure.

Gorgeous look at Hedges the winery
Like any good road trip, we had a few road bumps. The first was when I took the first exit to Baker City. There are two exits to Baker City, and when coming from Boise it is better to take the second. The first will take you winding through country roads, and by a Dairy Queen whose bathroom is significantly worse than peeing in the woods. After relieving ourselves, we were able to hop back on the road. Two and half hours later, we pulled into Tri-Cities. We headed to the location where the band was playing. We entered into a park filled with people dancing, drinking hanging out and listening to some great music. My parents and Aunt met us, we grabbed a beer, and sat back to listen to my Mom’s cousin’s tribute band. Confession Time: I don’t know any of the Eagles songs. If one plays on the radio, I may be able to hum along, but to identify it as a song by the Eagles, I couldn’t do it. Additionally, that era of rock and roll isn’t really my scene, I prefer the softer tones of Micheal Buble, or the angsty growl of Florence and the Machine or Alanis Morisette. However, we had a good time chatting with family, and feeding off the energy of the people around us.

Stop #1: Wine O'Clock

The next day was the day I was stoked about though. WINE TASTING. We had been planning on going wine tasting in the Tri-Cities since Christmas and were finally able to do it. My Aunt toured us around, taking us to her favorite vineyards. It was amazing to have a local’s perspective on the wineries. Our first vineyard, Bunnel Family Cellar, had a restaurant called Wine O’Clock whose name is amazing. Wine O’Clock is located in Prosser Washington. They offer a beautiful lunch menu; they have a patio reminiscent of a secret garden. They have lanterns strewn through the trees, that surround the cobblestone patio. Black wrought iron furniture brings you straight to the Italian countryside. We had a lovely wine-tasting flight, and some pizza’s we split between us. The food was reminiscent of Tuscan pizza. The pizza had fresh vegetables, rich olive oil, and a flaky crust. It tasted amazing. That was the precursor to good things to come. 

Stop #2: Gamache

We then went to my Aunt’s favorite winery, Gamache. We walked into an incredibly modern open space, and tasted an amazing grouping of reds. Unfortunately, at this point in time, I had had quite a bit of wine, and do not quite remember all the ones we tried 😊. But! We all sat out on their gorgeous patio, and looked out over the valley. Tri-Cities, and Eastern Washington in general tend to get a bad rep. But the Eastern side of the state is gorgeous. Green rolling hills surrounded us; trees were decorated with blooming flowers. The land it perfect for cultivating grapes and other produce. The city is alive; there are fun events. It’s definitely a place to check out.

Stop #3: Hedges

Our final winery was Hedges, and that is where I finally remembered to take pictures. The venue was gorgeous. Inside the bar was richly decorated with a large baby grand piano, and a deep wood bar. Everyone was super friendly, and the wines tasted amazing. We were able to snap some gorgeous pictures before we had to rush back to meet the rest of our family for dinner.

The View from the final winery

To me, wine is more than just an alcoholic beverage. It reminds me of family time. Mom, Dad and I drinking wine in our Fancy Room on Friday nights discussing the our weeks and the goings on in the family. It transports me to the Trattorie lining the streets of Florence, where my roommate and I would sit, eat dinner and dink Chianti that was cheaper than the water. Wine is a big deal in the Catholic faith as well. Every week since I was seven, I would drink wine during communion, partaking in the Eucharist. When we were out among the beautiful green hills and vineyards, I was reminded of the most important events in my life. Yes we taste wine, and judge it on its body, smell and mouth-feel, but I love wine tasting for the memories it evokes, and the memories it helps create. Family time is hard to come by now. I live about 500 miles from my family, and those Friday night wine talks I used to take for granted are things I now cherish.
  1.   Embrace each day and each moment with your family.
  2.  Take time to spend with them, even if it means driving six hours in a weekend and going to an Eagle’s Tribute band.

Have you all ever gone wine tasting? What is your favorite region to visit? Comment below!

My Boyfriend and I at the last winery we went to