Destination Richland Wine Tasting - My Favorite Itinerary

A blogger submission to Snooth's itinerary contest


Richland is often thought of as a “pit stop” for those going to or returning from wine tasting in Walla Walla, Washington. I want to show that Richland has a lot to offer and can be a wine destination too.

Welcome to the Tri-Cities where 300 sun filled days offer visitors a year round outdoor delight. After savoring the local premium wines, visitors will understand why the area has been rightfully called the "Heart of Washington Wine Country." The Tri-Cities is located in the Columbia Valley AVA and boasts more than 160 wineries within a 60-mile radius, which produce some of the finest wines in the world.

When you are planning a visit to the Tri-Cities, stay in Richland at one of the four hotels along the Columbia River. The location will make your visit comfortable, and easy to access this itinerary. The four hotels located along the Columbia River are:  the Hampton Inn Richland, Courtyard by Mariot, Red Lion Hotel Richland-Hanford House and the Shilo Inn Richland.

Breakfast at Rosy's Diner

Start your morning with a late breakfast at the 1950’s themed Rosies Diner. It’s an easy stroll from the Hampton Inn or Shilo Inn, and just as easy to get to from the other two hotels along the River. No one will tell if you decide to have some of their famed ice cream for breakfast.
Rosy's Diner 404 Bradley Blvd, Richland, WA 99352, (509) 943-0102.

After breakfast, take a saunter along Howard Amon Park beside the beautiful Columbia River. Your River hotel is located on a walking and bike path, so enjoy it. You can skip stones in the river, wet your feet, or stroll down to the Richland Marina; what a great way to great the day and the birds.

Are you ready to go wine tasting? Barnard Griffin Winery

Start your day of wine with some award winning Barnard Griffin wines. The tasting room  opens at 10am and  they will be happy to see you. Barnard Griffin is one of the largest family owned wineries in Washington. Winemaker Rob Griffin has made wine in Washington since 1977, longer than any other Washington winemaker. And all of his wines are very good. You’ll find dry and sweet white wines and an array of red wines to dazzle the senses. A tasting fee of $5 will let you sample their Tulip label wines, and the $10 tasting will let you sample their Reserve wines too. That’s at least ten wines to taste! This visit will give you a snapshot of how good Washington wines can be; varietals often include: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Malbec, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Roussane, Zinfandel, Port, and possibly more.

J Bookwalter Winery and Bistro

Your next stop is next-door at the J Bookwalter Winery and Bistro. John Bookwalter has taken the family wine business and transformed their winery into an award winning wine bar and bistro. Not only can you enjoy award winning wines, but there are many delectable items to savor from the menu with a glass of Bookwalter wine. Sunset magazine named Bookwalter the 2010 winery tasting room of the year. This is a must see destination. This is also a winery you must visit on a Friday or Saturday evening, you'll be treated to live music and a convivial crowd. Arrive early as parking disappears fast.

Is it time for lunch? Hamilton Cellars (pictured)

If you're not quite ready for lunch, around the corner from Bookwalter Winery is Hamilton Cellars tasting room. You'll find the tasting room comforting with elegant dimmed lighting; which you will appreciate after the intense summer sun. The wines of Hamilton Cellars are made by renowned winemaker Charlie Hoppes. So you are in for a treat. The Rosé of Malbec is a signature wine, bright, dry, summer in a glass, delightful. And don't miss out on the vertical flight of their Bona Vita red blends.

Atomic Ale Brew Pub

When you are ready for lunch, stop by a neighborhood favorite, the Atomic Ale Brew Pub. You’ll enjoy the local flavor and history of Richland. Atomic Ale Brew Pub offers hand-crafted beers and tasty hand-tossed, wood-fired pizza and specialty sandwiches. My preferred brews are their Plutonium Porter and Half-life Hefeweizen. If you visit on a chilly day, have a bowl of their famous potato soup, soul warming and stomach filling. Atomic Ale is a converted A&W drive -in, so root beer is on tap too. Don't leave without one of their t-shirts or logo hats.

Go Kayaking or Climb a Mountain

If you are still feeling energetic, you could take a break and go kayaking on the Columbia River. Kayaks are available for rent from Columbia Kayak Adventures, two blocks from Atomic Ale. If you'd rather hike than paddle, then a hike up Badger Mountain will reward you with a climb of 1000 vertical feet, and a breathtaking view of Richland, Pasco, Kennewick, West Richland, Hanford, Rattlesnake Mountain and the Yakima and Columbia rivers.

Columbia Kayak Adventures
710-D George Washington Way Richland, WA 99352 (509) 947-5901,

Friends of Badger Mountain Trail

Take a Break Before Dinner at Katyas Bistro

After your hike or paddling adventure, a shower and some rest is in order, but, make your dinner reservations first. My recommendation for dinner is Katyas Bistro. Katyas is within walking distance from all four of the river hotels. Katyas has a wonderful Washington wine list, and you'll be treated as true guests. The atmosphere is cozy, casual and a bit intimate; which I always find soothing after a busy day. Their menu is quite deluxe too; try their Osso Bucco for a falling off the bone satisfying dinner.

Katya’s Bistro 430 George Washington Way, Richland, WA

With over 300 days of sun a year, your stroll back to your hotel is expected to be pleasant. Thanks for visiting and don’t forget to tell your friends what a fantastic time you had.


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  • What an awesome itinerary! Truly something for everyone.

    Jul 06, 2011 at 11:05 PM

  • Don't feel obligated to my schedule, you may prefer hiking Badger Mtn. In the AM before the heat of the day. Thank you for commenting!

    Jul 06, 2011 at 11:35 PM

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