Picture a 1910 farmhouse two miles from town, surrounded by pasture, hop fields and a bird sanctuary, set against the tranquility of the Yakima Valley Wine Country. That’s Birchfield Manor Country Inn. Located in the first American Viticulture Area designated in Washington, this region’s excellent wine attracts many visitors every year.
Originally the main house to a 15,000-acre sheep ranch, today it is a B&B and gourmet restaurant owned and maintained by the Masset family, along with Tim Newbury. A cottage house built in 1995 stands next to the original farmhouse, offering a total of nine single rooms and two suites to welcome guests.
Two chefs to
please your palette
Larger than a typical B&B yet smaller than a hotel, Birchfield Manor has the accommodations of a four-star hotel while retaining the warm feeling of a gracious home. It was the perfect property in the perfect setting that the Masset family had always dreamed of owning. With two chefs in the family—Wil Masset received his culinary training in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and his son, Brad, completed the Culinary Arts program at Seattle Community College — Birchfield Manor offers a multi-course dining experience unique to central Washington.
A mix of Country French and Victorian décor, the inn offers a relaxed feeling throughout the common areas and the rooms. Eight of the nine rooms have whirlpool tubs, and some offer gas fireplaces plus a private deck or patio. The two penthouse suites have television. All rooms in the house and cottage have private baths and wireless Internet.
Take a tour of the Valley
Looking out your window, the panoramic views of the valley and the surrounding hills are dramatic and appear to continually change as the sun moves across the sky. Park-like grounds surround the outdoor pool.
Beyond the manor’s grounds, local wineries dot the countryside. Wil and Brad were happy to personalize a tour of the local wineries for Mardi and me, and direct us to roadside stands for fresh fruit and vegetables.
Golf enthusiasts can talk to Tim Newbury about tee times at the best golf courses around. Other activities nearby include hiking and rafting.
From the dining room
to wine cellar
If wine tasting, gourmet cuisine and romantic evenings are high on your list of priorities, you’ll feel right at home at Birchfield Manor. The complimentary award-winning breakfast begins with homemade granola, followed up by a savory chicken and wild mushroom frittata.
Multi-course dinners are served Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Any evening you can enjoy a hors d’oeuvre plate, dinner, dessert or handmade chocolates in your room. My favorite dinner is the fresh filet of king salmon wrapped in puff pastry and baked. Served with Yakima Valley chardonnay sauce, it is an innovative and delicious twist to a Northwest favorite. For dessert, chocolate lovers will swoon over the triple Belgian chocolate mousse torte with fresh raspberry sauce.
In addition to the main dining room, dinner is also served in the wine cellar. A romantic setting, it is perfect for an intimate dinner. With an extensive selection of award winning Washington wines (including Wine Press NW Award of Excellence, Wine Spectator Award of Excellent and others), you’re sure to discover a new favorite to take home with you.
Fred and Mardi Nystrom’s current travel guidebooks, “Special Places of Washington” and “The Great Wineries of Washington” can be found in bookstores or purchased online at www.specialplaces.com.