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Kitschy nickname for Yakima, Washington, a sunny agricultural-based town about 130 miles southeast of Seattle. The region produces fruit and vegetables of all kinds, including apples, peaches, cherries, potatoes, corn and most notably-grapes-as the region has become well known for it's outstanding wines over the last decade or so. Yakima county is by far the number one producer of hops in the U.S. and inspired Bert Grant to start the nation’s very first post-prohibition brew-pub, kick-starting the micro-brewery craze back in the early 1980’s.

300 days of yearly sunshine, fertile volcanic soil, its close proximity to the Cascade mountain range and the confluence of the Naches, Tieton and Yakima rivers give the area ideal growing conditions and also provides damp west-siders with a sunny retreat when tasting the region's outstanding wines. While the city has a population of about 80,000, (10th largest in the state) Yakima's many surrounding rural towns bring the county population to about 230,000. Outside of agriculture, Yakima unjustly struggles with its regional reputation and it’s industrial and professional significance, although the area is home to some amazing entrepreneurial efforts.

Yakima Canyon, between Ellensburg and Yakima, holds the proud designation of being the state's only "Blue Ribbon Trout Stream." This incredibly scenic stretch of the Yakima River has staged an amazing ecological comeback over the last twenty years with Chinook Salmon making a triumphant return to the river several years ago.

"Let's go wine-tasting in Yakivegas this weekend."
by Dale Renner May 20, 2008
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