Yakima, in the beautiful state of Washington, is known for having survived Mount Saint Helen’s eruption in 1980 and burying the region with nutrient ash. The positive consequence of this is that the soil is extremely fertile and anything that is planted, flourishes. Wineries have produced some of the best grapes for both red and white wines. The Columbia Gorge and Columbia Crest Chardonnay are one of my favorites, but I loved just about every wine I sampled. I am of the old school and love the taste of a bold, oak flavor. This only happens when the wine is stored in oak casks. The latest trend is to keep the wine in stainless steel, but I do not like the crisp taste that stainless steel produces. Fortunately for me, many Washington State wineries still favor the oak.