Travel media enjoy a meal at Russillo’s Pizza and Gelato in Yakima WA
Last week we had the honor of hosting eight writers and journalists on a two and half day spring tour of the Yakima Valley. The writers came from New York City, Portland, Vancouver B.C. and metro Seattle and have placed stories in a variety of media outlets including Town and Country, New York Times, Forbes Life and Travel Guide, Fodor’s Travel, OutCity.com, Northwest Travel Magazine, About.com, Real Food Traveler, Foodista, Seattle Kitchen/KIRO Radio, BC Living and Western Living.
The tour had a spring, wine and food theme and allowed participants to experience a number of attractions, food products and beverages. Activities included hikes in the Cowiche Canyon, massages at Ummelina, sipping wines throughout the valley and great meals including Italian fare at Russillos to a cooking demonstration at the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser.
“The writers had a great time meeting the people, cultures and attractions of the region,” stated John Cooper, President & CEO of Yakima Valley Tourism. “Trips like these help writers craft authentic stories of the Valley.”
The tour was coordinated with our public relations firm Green Rubino of Seattle.
The Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau (VCB) has launched a new program just in time for holiday shopping. Yakima Valley Made is a website that provides the public a directory of more than 100 Yakima Valley based farm products, hand crafted consumer goods and local food or beverage products. “With the rise of so many hand crafted artisan goods we saw a need to develop a central source for those products,” stated John Cooper, President & CEO of the VCB. “The site is a work in progress as vendors and locally crafted products are identified and added to the website.”
A number of the products listed on the website are available at the Yakima Valley Visitors Information Center at 101 N. Fair Avenue in Yakima. To view the site visit www.yakimavalleymade.com. Yakima Valley businesses producing locally grown or made items sold directly to consumers that want to be on the website should contact Laura Rodriquez at firstname.lastname@example.org
Funding for the project came through a grant from HUD Office of University Partnership at Heritage University with technical assistance provided by Yakima County Development Association/New Vision.
As a result of the Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau hosting writer Jess Thomson of Seattle, the August issue of Sunset has a nice feature totled “Northwest Road Trip: The Ale and Wine Trail”. The piece targets “enophiles and hopheads who travel together.” Along with attractions in Milton-Freewater, OR and Walla Walla, the story mentions various local breweries including Yakima Craft Brewing and Bale Breaker Brewing Company plus offerings at Gilbert Cellars, Desert Wind Winery, Two Mountain Winery, and the Red Mountain AVA.
“The timing of the story was perfect as it follows the recent launch of the Spirits and Hops Trail last month,” stated John Cooper, President & CEO of the Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau. “Wine and craft beers, spirits and ciders are a perfect match and part of the Valley’s history.”
Check out the online version of the story at this link.
The Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau has launched the Spirits and Hops Trail website to help visitors and residents easily navigate the growing number of local craft breweries, cideries and distilleries throughout the region.
In the last five years, the region has welcomed three new breweries, three distilleries and the largest producer of hard artisan cider in the state. The new site provides information and online mapping capabilities for these new businesses, and other tasting destinations throughout the Yakima Valley, including restaurants that feature locally crafted adult beverages.
The Yakima Valley is the top agricultural region in Washington state. In addition to growing 40 varieties of crops, the Valley produces 78 percent of the nation’s hops. For decades, commercial and craft breweries across the country and globe have relied on the quality hops grown in the Valley for their products.
Tourism leaders believe this project will complement the thriving wine industry of the Yakima Valley. “Our agricultural heritage is a foundation of our visitor industry,” stated John Cooper, president and CEO of the Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau. “It’s only natural that we should celebrate our role in the beer and distillery industries.” Cooper stated the visitors bureau will be marketing the site through a number of media channels, publicity and outreach to special interest groups.
The website also contains a history of the hops industry, a blog with guest authors and a calendar of events of interest to beer, cider and spirits enthusiasts.