Don’t let the small town feel fool you; Eastern Washington’s wine country is brimming with alluring weekend adventures. Residents know how to live the good life. If you are seeking an exceptional bottle of wine, one-of-a-kind accommodations, memorable dining adventures or a revitalizing spa experience, this region has you covered.
Desert Wind Winery
2258 Wine Country Rd, Prosser
Owned by the Fries family, Desert Wind Winery is an exclusive wine, culinary and lodging destination. In addition to owner-led facility tours, a Southwestern inspired tasting room, comfortable suites, and knowledgeable staff, the winery offers a quaint retail shop featuring an extensive selection of local specialty and gift items.
The Desert Wind brand focus is on producing quality, reasonably-priced wines. “We produce wines that people can drink and enjoy every day,” noted Amber Fries, director of communications.
Under the direction of Chef Frank Magana, Mojave by Picazo is the winery’s restaurant, specializing in casual Southwestern cuisine paired with appropriate Desert Wind wines. Some notable signature dishes are firecracker prawns, seared herb-crusted scallops, and crab cakes with sweet Thai chili aioli dipping sauce.
The eatery offers a supper club series; monthly gatherings of foodies who appreciate excellent food, wine and conversation relax around a communal dining table. Additionally, cooking classes are offered throughout the year.
Chef Frank Magana cooks up flavor and levity with his casual, approachable style. Just as easily inspired by a bunch of fresh parsley as he is by planning a 5-star dinner, “Keepin’ it fresh!” is his educational mantra.
Prosser Vintner’s Village
100 Merlot Dr, Prosser
An inviting wine walking tour lies just north of Prosser in Vintner’s Village. An established 32-acre site with meandering trails leading to over a dozen wineries, the Village is home to the Winemaker’s Loft, which is a winery incubator housing a half-dozen wineries and exceptional tasting rooms.
Inside the Winemaker’s Loft, Apex Cellars is a standout tasting room. Personable and enthusiastic, Apex Wine Club director Ben Goroch, tells us that the Apex Cellars was launched in 1988 and has grown to be one of Washington’s most respected wineries. Products cover the spectrum from reserve-caliber, vineyard-designate
wines to wines that can be enjoyed every day. Over the years, Apex Cellars has become known as a producer of consistently outstanding wine that can be served and enjoyed with confidence—a winery you can trust.
Ummelina Yakima Valley Spa Retreat
399 E Yakima Ave,Yakima
Mae West said, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!” If “wonderful” has not yet been achieved, more pampering and relaxation can be enjoyed in Yakima, only an hour away from Prosser. An unforgettable spa experience and an innovative restaurant await those of you who make the journey.
Feel like visiting an exotic location but your passport has expired? Ummelina Spa will indulge you. Ummelina specializes in package treatments or “journeys”. During your Journey to Eden, you will drift on tides of solitude and renew your spirit amidst the bounties of this environment. Your trip begins amid the nourishing mineral waters of Oceana where essential oils are added to give you the ultimate “scentsory” experience. You’ll continue in to the Herbarium where you recline, as aromatic mist moistens and lightly scents the air. Your face is deeply cleansed, exfoliated and nourished with vitamins. A soothing face, neck and shoulder massage prepares you for total enjoyment as your feet and hands are soothed and softened.
The Pacific Rim journey takes you to the land of the Far East, a tranquil temple garden. Step into an authentic Japanese soaking tub for a time of deep relaxation. The water, infused with herbs and oils brought from the Pacific Rim promotes a Zen-like state. Return from this journey a calmer, centered you.
Second Street Grill
28 N 2nd St, Yakima
The Second Street Grill is housed in a noteworthy structure in the heart of downtown Yakima. A stylish red brick facing and large windows allow a great deal of natural light into the building. The glass openings double as garage-style overhead doors that open; the fun atmosphere inside can spill out onto the sidewalk during good weather.
The restaurant features inspired contemporary American favorites with an Asian flair. Try the chili shrimp, a spicy yet sweet combination of flavors, Tuscan nachos, or a Chinese chicken salad. The bar offers a variety of specialty drinks, martinis, local and regional wines, and an assortment of beers from around the world. As Jacob from Ummelina commented, “I’ve never been disappointed in a meal at Second Street Grill”.
The Second Street Grill is a welcoming refuge for the traveler or native alike. With a large and varied menu, a quality bar, and a casual, pleasant environment, it is a “must try”.
Tammy Robacker Mary Morgan