If you are a wine lover the month of February is a special time in the Yakima Valley with the annual Red Wine and Chocolate weekend. If it was a regular year wineries in the valley would be getting prepared for the time when thousands of people, many from the west side of the state would pour into Yakima to get a taste of some of the best wines and chocolates available. But this year isn't a regular year with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has been the cause for cancelling many events including this year's Red Wine and Chocolate weekend which always happens in February.

Barb Glover with Wine Yakima Valley says more than 40 wineries up and down the valley usually get involved serving wines and chocolates. She says it's a big boost to wineries during the winter time when wineries usually don't see a lot of traffic. This year many wineries have closed because of the COVID restrictions and only a handful are offering outdoor wine tasting. Glover is hoping wineries can get back to normal this spring.
Some wineries in the valley that are open may be offering tastings next month so Glover says check with your favorite winery to see if they have any activities planned next month.  Some wineries are offering sales online as well.
Glover says a concern about wine grapes being impacted by smoke in the valley last year isn't impacting the taste of wines that are currently being produced in the Valley. She says other regions had more smoke and more of an impact on the taste of wine.