Apex Cellars pairing wine with the unexpected

Local history, whitewater rafting and art are all coming together at Sunnyside's Apex Cellars.

Over the course of the next several weeks, Apex Cellars will be pairing all of these elements with wine.

This coming weekend, Sept. 17-18, Apex Cellars will be celebrating its third annual Bridgman Days. Melissa Gamache, tasting room manager for Apex Cellars, said the winery will be offering tastes of all of its wines that fall under the Bridgman label, as well as tastes of some of the winery's older vintages.

She explained that in addition to tasting wines from the Bridgman label, those who attend will get a chance to take part in a local history lesson. She noted that the Bridgman label is named after W.B. Bridgman, who planted the first wine grape varietals in the Sunnyside area in 1917. Earlier Bridgman had also been instrumental in the development of the irrigation ditches that now run through the Yakima Valley.

On Friday, Sept. 23, Apex Cellars will join with Osprey Rafting Company to offer both whitewater rafting and a winemakers dinner called Whitewater and Wine.

Gamache explained that the two entities came together when she received a phone call from the owner of the rafting company. She said he wanted to find a way to combine whitewater rafting with the local wine industry.

Apex Cellars decided to take the rafting company up on its offer, and put together Whitewater and Wine. Gamache explained that the event includes a 12-mile whitewater rafting trip on the Tieton River, followed by a picnic lunch. Then, later the same evening, all of the rafting participants will come together at Apex Cellars for a winemakers dinner.

"We're putting a different twist on a winemakers dinner," Gamache said.

The cost to take part in Whitewater and Wine is $107 per person, and the event is limited to 40 people.

During the month of October, Apex Cellars, along with other wineries in the area, will mix wine with art for the Savor the Art event. Forty regional artists will be paired with various local wineries to display their art in tasting rooms across the Valley.

Apex Cellars will be hosting encaustic painter John Vandebrooke. Vandebrooke's art uses melted wax to create beautiful art pieces.

"It's an very ancient art form," Gamache said.

Vandebrooke's art will be on display at the winery from Sept. 17 through the end of October.


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