MikeL's Guide to WA Wineries
Yakima River Winery
143302 North River Rd., Prosser, WA 99350-9777
Phone: 509-786-2805; Fax 509-786-3203

[label source: Beth Schoenberg]
Click here for map/directions.
YVWGA member winery
Page last updated: 26-Sep-2002, Page generated: 10-Oct-2004

Port label
1983 Cabernet
Sauvignon label
Tasting room
1997 Merlot label
Production: 25k cases (1995), 12k cases (2000)
Vineyards: 2.5 acres
Distribution: OR, VA, ME, NY, KS, PA, AK, NJ, ID, NC, TN, GA, WA

John Rauner's love of wine was great enough to get him thinking about starting his own winery. Without a lot of formal education (he attended Columbia Basin College, and has taken the UC-Davis short course) he still felt he could do it. In 1977, with advice by their winemaker friend Joel Klein, John and his wife Louise founded the Yakima River Winery in Prosser to be near the Washington Irrigated Research Center. In that first year, they produced 1000 cases of virtually handmade wine. In 1983 the current building was erected, where the winery has been since, with some expansion in the early 1990's. They've continued to grow steadily, without ever compromising quality, to the 25,000 cases/year production of today.

In the late 1990's, they've discontinued making white wines -- quite a shame.
Sources: [the winery]

The Wines: Current releases (Fall 2000)
White: (none)

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot
  • Petite Verdot
  • Shiraz
  • Rendevous [Lemberger]
  • 1995 John's Port
  • 1997 Sof/Lem [Lemberger]
Previous releases: Winter 1999, Summer 1997, Spring 1996.

John W. Rauner 1978 - present

Of special note:
John says:

Since 1977 Louise and I have gone steadily about the task of perfecting the wines we love; huge, concentrated long-lived reds (the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are aged in oak barrels for 24 months).

A special wine of ours is our "SofLem"; this unique wine is a "Red that thinks it is a white". For people who want to go gradually from white wines to reds, we suggest "Rendevous", another of our Lembergers, this one is produced in stainless steel tanks.

We additionally make a very special Port wine.

(All events are free).

Red Wine & Chocolates in on President's Day weekend in February.

The Spring Barrel Tasting is one that should not be missed. The winemaker does a 4 year vertical tasting of Cabernet Sauvignons. You're taken through the history of the Cabernet, from the current vintage in barrels straight through the bottled ones. A very educational event each year. Always the last weekend in April.

July 4th is the winery's anniversary. Something new for visitors.

Thanksgiving In The Wine Country This is another not-to-be-missed event. There will be a sampling of food prepared with one of the wines (you can keep the recipe card).

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