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Winery kicks off its first season during Barrel Tasting

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Flowers and a friendly atmosphere offered by Susan and Tom Garrison prompt these visitors to promise to put Steppe Cellars on their annual wine-tasting trips in the future.

Grilled salmon, a glass of Gewurztraminer and good friends-what more could one want at the grand opening of a new winery?

A sip of Syrah, a taste of Riesling, you say?

All that and more were offered to visitors this past weekend at Steppe Cellars, a new winery at 1991 Chaffee Road overlooking cherry orchards, a vineyard and the shrub steppes, from which it took its name.

Steppe Cellar may be unique in that it is located in a quonset hut, which gives a definite informality to a visit there. But its shiny overhead arch gives a protective feel of warm hospitality.

Muskat Pottery by Carmen McKinney and Wendy Appelgate are on view and for sale, and art work adorns the walls.

A flowery touch was added wherever one looked, inside as well as out, with a bouquet of fresh flowers gracing even the outdoor coffee bar and porta-potty.

Winery hours are 10 to 5 Thursdays through Monday, with an extra hour on Saturdays when it closes at 6 p.m. To reach the winery, head north from Sunnyside on Yakima Valley Highway, turn left at Maple Grove Road, then left on Chaffee Road.

&nbs

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