As the flowers begin to bloom and the orchard trees are starting to bud, we’re gearing up for the busy season ahead. There are so many things to do in Chelan and we’d like to introduce you to some of our local food and wine producers to share their perspective on living and working in Chelan.
Denis Atam owner of Atam Winery found his inspiration to make wine through a lifelong dream. Having relocated from Germany in 1998, Denis and his wife Irmi left because of tighter rules and regulations in Europe and decided to move to Washington to pursue their dream and passion including wine and horses. After a lot of research, Denis and Irmi visited the Lake Chelan Valley for the first time and instantly knew it was the perfect location to make their dreams come true. We asked Denis what his favorite season is, “If I really had to pick one, then it is the Winter Season, because it allows me to enjoy a glass of our red wine in front of our fireplace and looking back thinking what a great season we had and knowing that the new wine from this year’s crush is safely in our tanks and barrels”.
Jodi (Jo) Cowell at One Wines Inc. was inspired to start growing wine because, simply put, she likes drinking good wine. Jo had lived here for the last 9 years and loved everything that the valley had to offer. Besides the 300 days of sunshine, Jo said “it’s one of the world’s most beautiful lakes” (World’s Most Beautiful Lakes- MSN). Jo’s favorite event? “The Red Wine and Chocolate event or as I like to say Wine and Chocolate. You just cannot discriminate against white wine I tell you! Wine and Chocolate represents two of my favorite things, alcohol and candy”
Nestled in front of Deep Water Inn is Gunther’s Fish and Chips. Jillian and Jeremy Gleeson had worked in hospitality for over 12 years deep-rooted in a love to serve people and communities. While remodeling the Inn, at the request of a number of locals, they reopened the fish and chips stand to integrate themselves into the community and show respect to a great town by offering people something that they want. They knew that when they opened their own business it would have to be in a locale where the businesses supported each other and offered their own form of community. Both Jillian and Jeremy love the Winterfest and Fire and Ice Festival stating, “What a beautiful way to bring local businesses and the community together. Nothing says community like families and friends gathered around a bonfire, making s’mores and sharing stories.”
Growing up in Chelan, Lindsay Evans, owner of Lake Chelan Artisan Bakery frequently visited from her new home in Winthrop. Seeing an opportunity for a bakery, Lindsay opened her own bakery in 2013 where she could share her love of baking with the community and visitors. Always being a baker at heart, and then baking professionally for 4 years, Lindsay turned her passion into her career and found a perfect outlet for her skills by opening the Lake Chelan Artisan Bakery in Chelan. Lindsay’s favorite season includes the fresh fruits that grow abundantly in the area: “Growing up here I enjoyed fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, pears, and apples all literally from my own backyard. Of course, I turned many of those delicious fruits into baked goods that became family traditions, so fresh fruit season has got to be my favorite!”
Located in the heart of town is The Vogue, a Liquid Lounge owned by Mike Cooney. Mike found his inspiration “from making a second career out of a passion for coffee, wine and music. We wanted to create a ‘third place’ in Chelan where locals and visitors feel welcome and could rely on quality products at fair prices served with superior customer service every time”. Mike and his wife Janice chose Chelan after considering a number of other northwest communities. It was the combination of “its quaint downtown, natural beauty and for its people” that led them here.
Angela Jacobs of WineGirl Wines started making wine to fulfill her artistic creativity, scientific curiosity, and to share the good life that values family, friends, wine and food. Angela visited the Lake Chelan Valley every summer throughout her entire life following the heels of her great-grandparents who farmed apples in the Valley. Angela feels that “the Lake Chelan Valley has the most potential in the state of Washington, to produce unique wines with an incredible intensity of flavor.” Angela’s favorite season is late summer “when all of our favorite wine friends arrive to celebrate new wine releases and plans for the grape harvest are underway. There’s a tension in the air, as sugars climb in the grape berry and leaves begin to turn. The sheer excitement and contentment is most thrilling to me!”