Like many of the best things in life, winemaking began as a hobby for Bob and Flossie Heymann. The operation quickly grew to be much more than they could drink themselves, and when they shared the fruits of their labor with friends, they were repeatedly encouraged to turn the hobby into a business venture. Thus, Heymann Whinery was born. Initially, they focused on fruit wines, but have since expanded to include chardonnay, cabernet, syrah, and cabernet sauvignon. True to their roots, they also stock a variety of home winemaking equipment and accessories.
To make their award-winning, handcrafted wines, Amy and Josh Stottlemyer source their grapes from the local eastern Washington fields in the Horse Heaven Hills, Yakima Valley, and Columbia Valley. From that harvest, they craft thirteen wines, ranging from classics such as cabernet sauvignon and malbec to less-common wines such as tempranillo and viognier.
The foursome behind Ye Ol' Grog Distillery doesn't just make specialty liquors—they make the tools that make specialty liquors. Comprised of three engineers, the team built the microdistillery’s two stills, including a completely redesigned version of a traditional pot still. This machinery not only helps churn out an extremely smooth vodka, but two variations of Ye Ol’ Grog’s namesake, an alcohol beloved by sailors throughout history. Sweetened with blue agave, the distillery’s grog includes the butterscotch-flavored Good Morning Glory and the 100-proof Dutch Harbor Breeze, which is aged in charred oak. To add an extra touch of sweetness, Ye Ol’ Grog’s proprietors complement samples of their liquors with adult shaved ice's made in house.
Six distinct wineries make up the South Sound Wine Trail. At each stop, visitors sample flights of handcrafted wines and meet the winemakers that produce them, using grapes from some of Eastern Washington's best vineyards. The award-winning wineries of the South Sound Wine Trail include, Stottle Winery, Madsen Family Cellars, Northwest Mountain Winery, Medicine Creek Winery, Scatter Creek Winery, and Walter Dacon.
The glowing red sign that adorns the entrance to Fire Creek Grill and Ale House, which depicts the pub's name surrounded by a raging fire, hints at the warmth inside. The sounds of clinking glasses and shuffling plates echo throughout the welcoming space, where touches such as rough stone walls lend the bar and grill traces of a rustic campground vibe. Outside, patrons can sit on a new patio complete with a gas fire pit for comfortable, cool-day lounging. The food, however, is anything but campground fare—cooks prepare a wide range of grill fare, including sizzling tacos and dungeness crab. Fire Creek offers more than just food and drink to entertain its customers, though: special events, such as Saturday-night karaoke andWednesday-night Texas Hold Em keep fun levels high throughout the week. Fire Creek Grill and Ale House also serves a weekend breakfast menu.
Madsen Family Cellars has humble roots—the founders started out fermenting their wines 5-gallon carboys in their garage. In 2005, though, the duo decided to pursue a more traditional path, and the winery was born. Nowadays, their garage-free process starts with grapes from Eastern Washington vineyards, carefully selected based on their flavor, color, and how well they play Pluto in a solar system diorama. The team uses these carefully-curated grapes to create 16 award-winning vintages, ranging from a lightly-oaked Chardonnay to Rhapsody, a white and raspberry wine blend. In the winery's tasting room, visitors can sample up to eight styles at a time; bottles are also available via mail order.