Yo spontaneous love a little day’s journey; but it is also pleasant to have a port. Packing up for a one-night getaway takes just a few minutes, and you don’t need to arrange any plants to water. Throw your stuff in your backpack and off you go.
But where to go?
Jabout two and a half hours from Spokane; Nestled in the rolling hills of Heaven, Prosser is home to more than 30 wineries and the “Birthplace of Washington Wines.”
With 20 days of sunshine a year than Spokane, and just 5.8 inches of snow annually, it is likely to be both more serious and hotter when you arrive in Prosser than when you leave Spokane. That alone is worth doing, especially in the long winter. Fortunately, there is much that I enjoy about the weather in this small town.
Of course there’s a lot of wine, and we’ll get to that, but on arrival, taking a stroll through Prosser’s historic town filled with old Western brick buildings.
But JADE THE BRITISH GIRL On Sixth Street, the scents of pastries will tempt the slightly weary traveler wanting to indulge, as will the beautiful souvenirs on display with a variety of stories in beautiful places to take home as souvenirs.
Almost, but 6TH HOUSE It is worth exploring the attractive – and substantial – curated collection of stylish and easy-to-wear clothing. There are also jewelry and other accessories, and you will want to venture down the hall – in addition to vintage Barbie dolls – a large selection of antique furniture, dolls and vintage magazines.
For lunch, grab one of the two-door six-shooters and make your way THE LIGHT OF THE HEAVEN for a meal of the heart and longings. A 12-ounce serving of meatloaf would fit a hungry man’s hand; This dish is best accompanied with a pint of salt. Make sure you look all the way around the dining room to take in the large scale murals of local life running up the walls.
It is also a historic weekend KING’S THEATER, on Meade Avenue, which opened in 1920, though it’s amazing modern marquee art, is a 1948 theater renovation into a movie house that will grab your attention. While they still occasionally show movies, there’s also a regular main menu, as well as cool jazz and classical shows in the Green Room with food and drink.
In fact, the surprisingly active list of businesses in town is just over 6,000, according to John-Paul Estey, executive director of the Prosser Chamber of Commerce. He says that BREWMINATTI, a downtown event seating just over 100, hosts a host of live music, including major-name rock, folk and Americana acts who pass through Portland on their way. On April 27th, Luke Bell, six-time champion of the National Fiddle Competition and member of Lyle Lovett’s Big Band, stops by.
The larger community certainly includes annuals SCOTTISH FEST and MOUNTAIN HUNTING. Now in its 21st year, the event took place on the third Saturday in June. “It’s my favorite event,” Estey said. “He proceeded to gather with the local boys and throw the goats and stones.” For as he grew smaller, he grew. “They bring in four Celtic bands, it’s a dance of struggle,” says Estey, but the throwing of various things, stones, anvils, cauldrons – remains a popular, and very popular, event.
Idus Quintilius, yearly ARTWALK AND WINE GALA brings together artists who Estey says are inspired to not only show their work, but also show the process of their art, from oil painting to blown glass. And in September, perhaps Prosser’s most photogenic event; The great PROSSER BLADDER GAMEmay heaven fill the various worlds. Estey says kayakers have recently discovered the Yakima River running through town is a spectacular place to watch flying fish.
Mr.spit everything out; It is undoubtedly the event that draws most visitors to Prosser Winery. And in Prosser, the wine tasting is a refreshing experience, with reservations generally not required. The hardest part is choosing where to go.
You will find it on Lee Road, in the eastern part of the city PRE-TEMPTATION ROOM for Alexandria Nicole Cellis and Hogue Cellis as well as Narratif, Kestrel Vintners and Tirridis Sparkling Wines. Nearby is the expansive 14 Hands Winery tasting room, complete with dynamic metal horses. North of 14 Hands, you can enjoy a tasting while taking in the commanding views of the Yakima River at Desert Wind Winery.
But VINTNER’S VILLAGE, just off Interstate 82, has 10 tasting rooms within walking distance of an artfully furnished space. We stopped in flight at THURSTON WOLFE, where for $15 you can choose from all red or mixed flights. We ended up sharing a table with two wine club members who had recently arrived from the west side. They insisted that we try the only onsite mustards available, and quickly dispose of the mustard with some prescriptions. They were right. We had to buy an urn. The laid-back, friendly vibe was typical of the Prosser tasting rooms we visited.
But MILBRANDT of the vineyards tasting room, check the bottle price points at $11 to $62, says Susie Wahlquist, general manager for Milbrandt Family Wines. “We have something for everyone—our wines are a great representation of what Washington state has to offer.” Tasting room manager Andrew Abercrombie says both Milbrandt label and Ryan Patrick label wines made in the tasting room were created by the same wine maker, Kendall Mix. “I think I’ll play a little more with Ryan Patrick. Milbrandt is a little more of a classic style,” he said.
We tasted six Milbrand wines for $25 (minus a $35 wine purchase). The rosé and chardonnay started things off, but there were four big bold reds that were a lot of fun, including three very different cabernet sauvignons.
“It’s a good thing,” Wahlquist said. “It helps us as a community. It gives us culture…I see Washington really shining as one of the most successful wine regions in the world. We have the perfect weather for it.”
AUTur roadtrip was fought for almost exactly 24 hours; but we will return to taste more of the wine, and if by any chance it may be more agreeable to the friendly people who call Prosser home.