Rijo Athletics?founded by former Mets player, current St. Louis Cardinals scout, and the author of the popular Creating Winning Relationship Through Sports Jose Rijo-Berger?helps baseball and softball players, teams, and coaches polish up their craft with a variety of skill drills, camps, and hands-on practice sessions at reasonable prices. Pitchers perfect not only their form and speed, but also their techniques for reducing injury risk, and batters develop their own unique swing pattern in the state-of-the-art batting cages, whether they're a power hitter, contact hitter, or telekinetic hitter. Batting cages are 20 feet high and 15 feet wide with white tops for maximum performance fit for baseball, fast pitch, and slow pitch softball, and simulated video pitching system ProBatter help fast pitch and softball pitchers hone their delivery. Players perform their feats of athleticism in one of six indoor batting tunnels and on pitching mounds.
When Josh Lawrence joined his father and uncle to work the land the Lawrence family had farmed for nearly a half-century, he wanted the fruits of his labor to be tasted in a glass. So they began Lawrence Vineyards in 2003 with just one block of vines and a single garden gnome for security in the sunny Frenchman Hills bearing the family's name. From there, the planting and production flourished, and today more than a dozen varieties of grapes populate nearly 125 acres of land. For the Lawrences, Gård Vintners was the natural next step, and a host of award-winning wines followed. Today, they invite visitors into their two tasting rooms to sample a variety of wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Riesling, and refreshing Rosé with notes of strawberry jam and fresh herbs. Guests may also purchase bottles of their favorite varietal or enjoy glasses of Gard Vintners wine at restaurants throughout the area.
Corks and Canvas Events, like a work of fine art, came about by pairing a good idea with a passion to create. The founders both came from the marketing world, where they spent their days devising campaigns and events to inspire their audiences to take action. A shared love for art and wine inspired them to bend their action-creating talents toward a new goal?hosting painting and wine events in area wineries and wine bars, allowing guests to "uncork their creativity" and promote the burgeoning Washington wine industry in a social setting.
Their idea took the form of Corks and Canvas Events, where experienced artists lead guests step-by-step through the painting creation process. Guests re-create various paintings, everything from lush vineyard scenes to preening roosters, while sipping on glasses of local wines.
Long before they were making wine, Derek Berger and Scott Heinrich brewed beer together in the 90s. That, they might tell you, was the start of it all?beer-making transitioned to wine-making, relationships with some of Washington's top vineyards, and a newfound appreciation for the centuries-old art. Their tastes evolved into an appreciation for wine, and eventually they were crafting Sangiovese-based red blends, showcasing their Washington interpretation of Italy's Super-Tuscan-style blends. Today, their operation has grown into Genoa Cellars, where they produce Tuscan?style wines from Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot. Participants can sample their wines, experiment with chocolate and wine pairing, and take home a bottle to have on hand for special dinners or occasions.
Despite its name, no dirty buckets are used in the brewing process at Dirty Bucket Brewing Co. The brewery's team members chose a moniker that paid homage to their homebrewing roots. Operating on a three-barrel system from its cozy nanobrewery, the team handcrafts small batches of four mainstay pours, such as the Filthy Hoppin' IPA, which packs a tasty trio of Chinook, Willamette, and Cascade hops. The rest of Dirty Bucket's lineup consists of rotating seasonal brews, ranging from an Irish Red and Pumpkin ale to a Hefeweizen brewed with fresh pineapple. These flow from the taps at Dirty Bucket's tasting room, which welcomes food from neighboring restaurants as well as kids, pets, and imaginary friends, provided they use their indoor voices.
Jim Petty, owner and winemaker, has high standards for wine that have motivated him to craft an array of award-winning varietals from the grapes of local vineyards. Aspenwood Cellars’ signature series boasts Seattle Wine Award–winners, such as the silver medal 2009 syrah and the bronze medal 2008 cabernet sauvignon, while the current production series includes a 2009 Elegance red-wine blend, which serenades tasters with the cherry and toasted vanilla notes that earned it a silver medal at the Washington State Fair in 2012. Aspenwood Cellars invites guests to visit on the weekends for tastings led by Jim. Guests can take the opportunity to learn about how the wine is made personally, since Jim takes a more personal approach, meeting and talking with guests about all things wine.