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Tasting Room opens on the Yakima Campus

In July Yakima Valley Vintners (YVV), Yakima Valley College’s teaching winery, opened its second tasting room. The new location brings the college’s award-winning wines to the Yakima Campus.

“Yakima Valley Vintners is excited to offer the Yakima community a convenient location where they can sample the outstanding wines crafted by students in YVC’s Vineyard & Winery Technology Program,” said Annette Wattenbarger, tasting room coordinator.

The Yakima Tasting Room is located on YVC’s West Campus next to the new Larson Gallery exhibition space. It features an elegant tasting bar, seating indoors and in an adjacent outdoor sculpture garden, a variety of educational displays related to grape and wine production, a grape vine that was one of the first planted in the Yakima Valley, and artwork celebrating Yakima Valley’s grape and wine heritage.

“Our new Tasting Room was designed with our community in mind. It’s a place where people can enjoy fantastic wines produced by the next generation of Yakima Valley wine producers. It’s a place where people can come to enjoy art and live music, and to learn more about our region’s grape and wine industry.” – Annette Wattenbarger

Yakima Valley Vintners produces 400-700 cases of wine annually and its student-crafted wines have garnered more than 185 awards over the last 13 vintages, most recently six platinum, gold and double gold medals in the 21st Annual Wine Press Northwest Platinum Competition. YVV will continue to operate its Tasting Room on YVC’s Grandview Campus.

“It is amazing to see all the different wines and the number of awards that the students have earned over the years,” states Vineyard & Winery Technology Instructor Trent Ball. “From the initial release in 2008 of three wines (gewürztraminer, viognier and rose), to now annually students produce eight to 10 wines each year. Graduates have gone on to work for large and small vineyard and winery operations, and several have launched their own winery businesses.”

In addition to enjoying YVV wines, Wattenbarger said the Yakima Tasting Room will present a variety of educational opportunities for community members such as programs featuring alumni of YVC’s Vineyard & Winery Technology Program.

Ball said the new space also is helping the program grow.

“Prior to opening the YVC Yakima Tasting Room, the face of the program was in the lower valley with the YVC Grandview Teaching Vineyard and Winery. With the addition of the Yakima Campus tasting room there is another facility that we are excited to share with the public — that will bring more program awareness and showcase the amazing student-made wines to the broader community. We hope this will engage new interest in the great career opportunities in the grape and wine industry”

To make a reservation for a tasting, email The new Tasting Room will be open Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. Expanded hours and days of operation are planned in the future.

YVC also recently began offering a wine club for both the Yakima and Grandview communities.

“Supporting the wine club is supporting the next generation of wine makers in our state,” states Wattenbarger. “We currently are doing two releases a year and we have been saving the big award winners for our club members. We also offer a ‘Tutoring Session’ with our memberships, which provides comparative wines and a guided process giving members core knowledge about wines included in the release. Every release will include two bottles selected by our instructional team.”

Learn more about YVV’s Wine Club memberships.