Small Wineries Opening Up for Business for 'Red Wine and Chocolate' Weekend
WAPATO, Wa - Many smaller wineries in the Yakima Valley have been closed for the winter months, but they open up for business in the new year during 'Red Wine and Chocolate.'
For these wineries, it's their Daytona 500. They begin their season with one of the biggest wine weekends of the year.
Greg and Michaela Masset are husband and wife. They are also in business together. They opened Masset Winery in 1999 and moved to this 102-year-old barn in Wapato three years ago.
"We just finished with construction on the outside, so there was a lot more than just closing down," says Michaela Masset.
The Massets are like many other smaller wineries, their business depends largely on foot traffic, so they close down right after 'Thanksgiving in Wine Country' and open up for 'Red Wine and Chocolate.
"We're off the beaten track a little bit. Traffic dies down as the pass gets snowy," says Masset.
The Massets spent the afternoon getting bottles ready for customers to taste and putting out some homemade truffles to pair those wines with. They officially opened their doors for business this year at 2pm this afternoon.
Michaela Masset says these next two and a half days - from 2pm this afternoon until Sunday at 5pm - will be as busy as they will be all year.
"We really notice that there is a big difference on these special events. It draws them in. It doesn't hurt to pop some chocolate in there."