Visitors Bureau Secures Media For Yakima Valley

The Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau has been busy working with journalists and writers to place features on the Yakima Valley. Here are the latest results from those efforts:

In the Bend Bulletin, John Anderson shares the many agri-tourism attractions and events in the Yakima Valley. Read the article here.

Senior editor Nikki Gloudeman of Smart Meetings magazine wrote in her blog about recent awards at the Western Association of CVB’s Annual Convention, of which our Wine Doggies website received a Best Idea recognition. She finished that entry with the line: “One thing’s for sure: I now really want to get a dog and bring him to the Yakima Valley.”

The Valley was the feature story in the fall issue City Dog magazine, sharing all the dog friendly attractions found in the region. This resulted from a detailed tour our ‘spokesdog’ and staff gave their staff earlier this summer. City Dog has a circulation of 25,000 throughout the Northwest and Northern California. Check this PDF for all the tail wagging details.

Here’s a feature  placed in the Everett Herald with six reasons to visit the Valley this fall.

The Dog Wonderful website did a piece earlier this month resulting from an appointment we had at US Travel Association’s International Pow Wow last May.

Keep up with (and share!) all the positive media we are generating for the region by visiting our Yakima Valley in the News section on our website or by following our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter).

Advertisements

Wine Doggies Website Wins Award

Sara Toliver of the Ogden/Weber CVB and a WACVB Board Member presents award to John Cooper of the Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau

Winedoggies.com,  a program developed by the Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau to assist visitors traveling with their dogs, won an award last week at an industry convention and trade show.

Sponsored by the Western Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (WACVB), the annual Best Idea Program showcases innovative projects and creative marketing strategies submitted by WACVB members. This year’s Best Idea Program awards were presented during the 2012 WACVB Annual Conference September 20th in Eugene, Oregon.

According to the Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau, Winedoggies.com is designed to assist travelers and their dogs with their visit to the Yakima Valley, providing a resource for pet-friendly businesses and must-see stops in the region. The website includes a ‘Doggie Bloggie’ hosted by a local canine, an interactive map of 54 dog-friendly businesses with open-pet policies, plus a section where dog-friendly businesses and guests can add pictures and stories of their dogs enjoying Washington wine country. The site launched in February 2012.

Awards also went to the Laguna Beach (CA) Visitors & Conference Bureau;  Monterey County (CA) Convention & Visitors Bureau and Park City (UT) Chamber of Commerce/Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Western Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus is a regional professional association serving more than 135 destination marketing organizations in the western United States and the western provinces of Canada.

Pirate Plunder Adventure Race

All ye landlubbers and scallywags! Come to the Yakima Valley October 7th for an adventure of a lifetime…or be prepared to walk the plank!

The Yakima Valley Sports Commission with it’s partner Whiplash Sports have created the Pirate Plunder Adventure Race which is a 4+ mile obstacle course race that combines ever-changing terrain with 15+ obstacles to test your strength, stamina, and love of mud. You’ll climb over walls up to 12’ high, crawl through a 40’ long mud pit, slide down a 30’ water slide, battle through tires, and face many other challenges all while running through a combination of fields, mud, and sand pits!

Once completed, participants are greeted with a cold beverage, live music, and great food! This race is a great way to get you, your friends, and family away from the TV, off the couch, and covered in mud, so come on out and see if you’re worthy of the name “Pirate” or are you just another “Scallywag”.

Volunteers are needed to come dressed and act the role of pirates at various stations of the race to add to the experience. There are also other opportunities to volunteer.

To register or volunteer go to PiratePlunderRace.com

Washington Wine Tasting During The Harvest

The season has turned. Nights are cooler and as the sun rises, there’s a mist on the valley floor.  Gold and red trees dot the distant hills.  It’s harvest time in wine country.   If you plan right, fall is a great time to visit and immerse yourself in the wine making process.

Here are some tips to help you enjoy Washington Wine Country during the harvest:

  • Plan ahead: In wine country many visitors come during the harvest and crush. That requires extensive advance planning for lodging, dining and activities.  Here in the Yakima Valley the weekend traffic is manageable and there are great activities like the Prosser BalloonRally, the Wine Yakima Valley Catch the Crush event in October or the Thanksgiving in Wine Country event the weekend after Thanksgiving.
  • Check the website of the local tourist office: They’re a wealth of information, especially about harvest and wine events.  Also, regional and state wine associations are a good source to help you plan. In the Yakima Valley check the Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail or Wine Yakima Valley for updates and information.
  • Learn before you go: Visit websites and videos about the regions and wine making process. Brush up on the art of tasting and basic wine terms. And if you use Twitter, try hashtags to follow the online conversations, like #WAwine.
  • Wine regions are agricultural regions: With a few exceptions, most vineyards and wineries are located on rural back roads. That’s part of their charm. During harvest though expect more traffic, especially farm equipment. In the Yakima Valley the wine grape harvest coincides with other fruit harvests. Be patient and obey the rules of the road.
  • Designate a driver: Basic rule for any season. Be sure to reward them for the duty though, like buying the lunch or a bottle for later on!
  • Pace Yourself: Plan on visiting up to five wineries a day. Your palette will go numb if you try to tackle too many wineries. Plus, during harvest you may want to linger to watch what’s happening.
  • Expect a different mood: It’s very different at wineries in the fall. There’s a tension and excitement as the winemakers and staff work to bring in the grapes. The hours are long and all hands are on deck. Ask questions about what’s going on, but be respectful if they have limited time to chat.
  • Prepare for the weather: And remember the wine! It may be cooler, but on sunny mild days the temperature inside a trunk or car can climb to a level not good for wine. Bring a cooler or two.
  • Get involved: Many wineries have programs where you can actually work the harvest. You wear your grubbies, get an assignment and work the fields harvesting or other tasks. It’s a great way to gain a greater appreciation of the hard work that goes into making wine plus learn directly from the winemakers.
  • Learn about dog friendly wineries: A great resource in Washington Wine Country is winedoggies.com
  • Fly to Washington Wine Country: Your Vacation to Washington Wine Country Just Got Easier – with the Taste and Tote Program. Check your first case of wine free from Yakima, Tri-Cities/Pasco or Walla Walla on Alaska Airlines. Enjoy waived rental car drop fees from Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Show your Alaska Airlines boarding pass for waived tasting fees at participating wineries.  Extra Benefits for booking your Taste and Tote Flight between September 1-15! Airlines to Yakima, Pasco/Tri-cities, or Walla Walla and save 10%! It’s easy; just enter EC2451 at alaskaair.com in the discount code box. The discount will be applied automatically. Travel September 1, 2012 – November 15, 2012, book by September 15, 2012. Not valid for travel from Mexico, Hawaii, or Prudhoe Bay. Additional terms, conditions, and restrictions apply.

With the right planning and attitude, a visit to a wine region during the harvest and crush is an exceptional way to learn about fine wines. Enjoy!