Locati Cellars' 2009 sangiovese red infuses Rosebud Vineyard?s sangiovese?from Wahluke Slope?with fruit from Walla Walla?s Mission Hills Vineyards. The hybrid result earned silver medals in the 2012 San Francisco Chronicle wine competition and the 2012 Seattle Wine Awards, with its pomegranate and cranberry scents that complement blueberry, black tea, and chocolate flavors.
The sangiovese is just one of the vintages sommeliers pour for tasting at the Locati Cellars, helmed by the Locati family for the past century. The winery rounds out its selection with the bone-dry Estate ros? and whites, such as the 2012 pinot grigio, rather than the original white wine?fermented grapes mixed with paper. The winemaking team strives to blend Italian winemaking traditions with grapes from the winery?s vineyards, which occupy Walla Walla?s rolling, fertile hills. Locati Cellars has won a number of accolades for their wine, such as gold for their 2009 Locati Innovation from Seattle Wine Awards, and gold for their 2009 Estate Sangiovese from the Great Northwest Wine Competition.
When Mike Salazar goes to work, he doesn't knot a tie and check his passions at the door. Instead, he does what he loves best, gathering his gear and meeting up with new friends to fish or hunt the Columbia River. Mike has spent almost 25 years doing just that, and as the guide behind Salt 2 Summit, he leads clients on adventures of their own. Insured, experienced, and passionate about his field, the CPR- and Coast Guard?certified captain pilots his customized 2008 Alumaeweld Super Vee 270 days per year. Stopping the boat at tributaries?among them the Cowlitz, Lewis, Willamette, Sandy, and Wind Rivers?Mike backs every guest's excursion with a catch-fish guarantee. He counts salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, and walleye among his specialties. As a hunting guide, he directs those seeking deer or birds across more than 50,000 acres.
You walk into the sun-drenched room, padding across alternating swathes of slate tile and plush carpet. In the kitchen, your friend slices veggies atop a gleaming granite countertop, which will later top the burgers cooking on the stainless-steel gas grill outside. A cushy sectional beckons for you to curl up and watch a DVD on the flatscreen TV, but instead you decide to head up to the roof, where a few companions are sprawled out on lounge chairs on the expansive sun deck.
Though it sounds like this scenario could only take place on the French Riviera's star-studded coasts, River Ranch Boat makes it possible with luxury-houseboat rentals in the Northwest. The 59-foot beauties are appointed with contemporary furnishings and fixtures, sleeping up to 12 adults and holding parties of up to 25 during the day. The vessels, which can be rented for weekend or mid-week sojourns, also have an on-deck waterslide that deposits riders right into the Columbia or Snake Rivers.
Those looking for single-day adventures can rent one of River Ranch's pontoons, which hold 12–16 people depending on the vessel. There is also a fleet of pleasure boats––speedboat-style watercraft that can be used for fishing, tubing, wakeboarding, or revving the engine to scare away lingering ghost ships.
There's nothing quite so moving as the look of wonder in a child's eyes. Well, that's not exactly true. How about the look of wonder in the eyes of, say, 100 children? That's what you're likely to find at Children's Museum of Eastern Oregon, which offers endless possibilities for young ones to learn and explore.
The imagination is free to roam and set up shop in any of the museum's many exhibits, which include an interactive "market" and a tree-filled reading jungle. After your visit, head to the toy store to pick up an educational game, a science project, or a TV set plastered over with fun math equations.
Rugged mountains, lush valleys, and churning rivers surround participants during Heaven's Gate Outfitters' adventurous expeditions into the Idaho wilderness. A staff of avid outdoor enthusiasts leads horseback rides and hikes at elevations of up to 7,500 feet along the Seven Devils Mountains and Hells Canyon. They can also voyage to idyllic mountain lakes and the nearby Salmon River for rafting and fishing trips, during which participants might nab salmon or trout. To further familiarize patrons with the backcountry's wildlife, Heaven's Gate Outfitters can arrange multiday pack trips and shelter travelers inside its own private lodge.