Eastern Washington’s farm land, orchards,vineyards and hop yards are spectacular backdrops for summer road trips. An added plus in the last decade has been the proliferation of wineries where visitors are welcomed to tasting rooms that range from vast, elaborate themed structures to small mom-and-pop operations in the family garage.
However, there's more taste in Washington's vast agricultural region than wine. Two of our recommended stops are:
* Monteillet Fromagerie – the first farmstead artisanal cheese facility in the Walla Walla Valley of southeastern Washington. Our visit took us down a long driveway into the heart of a goat and sheep farm to a small cheese tasting room with outdoor tables as well (where they pair the cheese with wine).
If you can’t be in the heart of France, there is no more perfect setting to eat farm-fresh cheese and sip wine on a hot summer day.
And if a few hours aren’t enough for you, Joan and her husband, rent a charming three-bedroom ‘gite’, (that is small house in French) and also rent out camp sites on the farm as well.
If you Go: Monteillet Fromagerie, 109 Ward Rd., Dayton, 99382, tasting room open Friday and Saturdays, 12 – 5 p.m. and other times by appointment. A trip here would be a great addition to southeastern Washington’s Walla Walla wine country.
The nearest airport and rental car companies are in Walla Walla. Regional airlines serve the area.
Accommodation information is on the farm's website, use the name link above, or phone at 001-509-876-1429
*Aplets and Cotlets, America’s famed fruit-and-nut confection, that tastes much like Turkish Delight, has been made in the small town of Cashmere since the 1920’s. Cashmere is in the heart of Central Washington's apple country, just outside Wenatchee.
The company, founded by two Armenian immigrants who settled in the town, began with Aplets, a powdered-sugar coated fruit candy made from locally grown apples and walnuts. It expanded to include Cotlets, made from apricots, and now offers a candy-store sized menu of fruit confections.
Stop by the retail store at the factory in Cashmere’s downtown, watch a video about the candy’s history and how it is made. Take a free tour.
If you Go: Aplets and Cotlets, 117 Mission Ave., Cashmere, 98815, phone 800-888-5696 in the U.S. and 001-509-782-1000, outside the U.S.) The day we toured they were not making the candy, but the crew was cutting and packaging the product. Call in advance for the candy making schedule.
The nearest airport and rental car companies are in Wenatchee. Regional airlines serve the area.