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It’s wine weekend in the valley

Do some shopping, relax and visit the local wineries

Tasting tips

Here are a few do’s to enjoy a trip through wine country.

Please bring a glass or be prepared to buy one on site.

Be prepared to move away from the tasting counter in order to allow the next set of tasters sample.

Above, all don’t be afraid to taste new releases. Surprise yourself with something new to enjoy.

— The weekend may be wet, but the snow-free mountain highways should bring lots of people to the enjoy the annual Thanksgiving in Wine Country which begins Friday.

The tour of the valley’s wineries begins on Black Friday at 10 a.m. at most wineries. Each year, the winemakers try new approaches to tempt the state’s wine lovers.

This year, valley wineries during the Thanksgiving weekend will not only offer fine wines, food offerings and special deals, they will be accepting donations to Northwest Harvest to fight hunger.

Savor this Yakima Valley tradition on the day after Thanksgiving and through the weekend with a beautiful scenic drive to Washington wine country.

Learn from the winemakers and chefs why particular Yakima Valley wines pair well with the sauces, seasons and flavors of the traditional Thanksgiving culinary delights.

Visitors and both new wine and seasons wine lovers will find special offerings in addition to samplings of favorite wines at each stop.

For example, 14 Hands Winery in Prosser will host its own Black Friday event in with specials on non-vintage Brut and Brut Rose.

At Purple Star Winery, visitors who bring a can of food to receive a complimentary wine tasting at the Benton City winery.

Coyote Canyon Winery will offer savory bites with the each new release sampling.

A special holiday entertaining showcase for matching wines with party menus is also offered.

Just for fun, Domanico Cellars will offer a simple holiday craft - wine cork angels - from 3-6 p.m. Saturday.

As a special treat, the young winemakers at Yakima Valley Vintners in Grandview will be offering sampling of their award-winning wines during the Thanksgiving in Wine Country event.

Yakima Valley College’s teaching winery, located on the Grandview campus, will open its tasting room on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Thanksgiving in Wine Country will feature several student-produced wines, including Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Carmenere and Dean’s List Reserve Red Blend.

A Washington vs Chile blind tasting will be held from 2-3 p.m. at the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser.

A country take on wine tasting, complete with a carnival and lariat toss will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at McKinley Springs in the Vintner’s Village in Prosser. A ‘meet the winemaker’ and bottle signing event is also planned.

Gamache Vintners will offer special flights as well as a limited vertical wines to taste.

For a longer trip through both wine country and wheat country, venture to Columbia Crest Winery on Paterson Road and enjoy hot mulled wine around the chateau’s giant fireplace.

In Sunnyside, both Co Dinn Winery and Cote Bonneville will be open over the weekend featuring each winemaker’s spin on wines.

For maps of valley wineries, visit yakimavalleywinecountry.com.

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