Catch the Crush a Yakima Valley harvest tradition

By on September 27, 2014
Fume Blanc during Catch the Crush

Fresh Sauvignon Blanc grapes arrive at a Washington winery and are crushed to make wine. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Even though Washington’s wine grape harvest is coming historically early, plenty of fruit will remain on the vine for the Yakima Valley’s Catch the Crush celebration.

The annual harvest event takes place Oct. 11-12 from the Yakima Valley to the Tri-Cities and will involve nearly 40 wineries.

Catch the Crush began many years ago as a harvest celebration for wineries in the Tri-City area, but when the Columbia Valley Winery Association went defunct, Wine Yakima Valley revived it. Now it is much larger, developing into one of the three major events put on across the Yakima Valley (along with Spring Barrel Tasting in April and Thanksgiving in Wine Country).

Because Catch the Crush occurs in the middle of harvest, it gives wine lovers an opportunity to see wineries when they are harvesting fruit, crushing grapes and fermenting new wines.

Each winery provides a slightly different experience, including food, new releases, live music and harvest events. Many benefits are available only to those who purchase a Premier Pass, which costs $30 ($35 after Oct. 1).

Some Catch the Crush activities

Naches Heights Vineyard near Yakima will have live music by Rylei Franks and food from Tazzah Mediterranean Cuisine during Catch the Crush.

Wilridge Winery & Vineyard near Yakima will have live music and food.

Horizon’s Edge in Zillah will release its new Devil’s Canyon red wine and offer tastes of fresh Chardonnay juice.

Knight Hill Winery in Zillah will show Catch the Crush visitors how fermenting wines are processed (and you can join in, if you’d like).

Reflection Vineyards near Zillah will give visitors a chance to stomp grapes.

Severino Cellars near Zillah will have fresh wine grapes available for tasting, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Cinsault and Mourvèdre.

Silver Lake Winery near Zillah will take visitors through the entire winemaking process, from newly harvested grapes through the final product.

14 Hands Winery in Prosser will offer live music by the Knutzen Brothers during Catch the Crush.

Airfield Estate in Prosser will hold its annual Vineyard Run and Grape Stomp on Saturday, in which visitors can hop in a harvest bin and stomp grapes.

Kestrel Vintners in Prosser will show how wine ferments and will have culinary creations from executive chef Jessica Smith.

Thurston Wolfe Winery in Prosser will pair its fortified dessert wines with complementary food for Catch the Crush visitors.

Yakima Valley Vintners at Yakima Valley Community College in Grandview will lead visitors on a tour through the crush pad and winemaking facility with samples of newly fermenting wines.

Tapteil Vineyard Winery on Red Mountain will hold I Love Lucy-inspired grape stomps during Catch the Crush.

Kiona Vineyards & Winery on Red Mountain will provide vineyard and winery tours to show the winemaking process.

Terra Blanca Winery on Red Mountain will have food and live music featuring Leadfoot and will offer tours of its underground caves.

Tucannon Cellars near Red Mountain will have pizza baked in its new pizza oven during Catch the Crush.

About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is founding partner of Great Northwest Wine LLC and a longtime wine columnist. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books.

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