Home to Washington’s most exciting AVA (American Viticultural Area) and some of the most mouth-watering cuisine in the Northwest, foodies and wine lovers flock to our valley all four seasons. Our volcanic soil and “lake effect” temperatures make for a longer growing season, sweeter fruit, and one-of-a-kind wines. Pair that with the artistry of our winemakers, and you have a wine weekend to remember. Let’s give you some amazing ideas to check off your list when you make your gustatory getaway. If there are just too many suggestions for you to pack in a weekend, don’t worry -that’s what next time is for.
Farmers Markets at Harvest Time
Make no mistake, our farmers markets are bustling with greens in spring all the way to gourds around Halloween. However, there’s something special at our markets from early July through early October. Cherries burst out of our orchards by Independence Day, tomatoes beg to be eaten like apples through July, and apples, pears and peaches ripen as Labor Day approaches. Something is in season nearly eight months out of the year in the Lake Chelan Valley. Make sure you take the fruits (and vegetables, and herbs) of our labor home with you.
Spring (or Fall) Fling
Lake Chelan pops the cork on Spring every April with the Chelan Spring Release celebration. Always the last two weekends in April, it’s a time for award-winning wineries to unveil their newest white and rosé vintages for the very first time. The new releases are usually paired with discounts, tastings with the winemakers, and more. The first two weekends of October is your chance to join in on the harvest celebration with the Lake Chelan Crush Festival. Get up close and personal with the winemakers while you watch them crush the newest vintage of wine. Speaking of the winemakers…
Meet Your Maker
Lake Chelan wineries, and their winemakers, are known for serving up perfect wines with an utter lack of pretention. There is an extremely good chance that the person pouring your taste is the person who picked the grapes. Go ahead, ask! Whether it’s the husband and wife winemaking team at Nefarious, or the do-anything DIY spirit of Angela at WineGirl Wines in Manson, these winemakers love talking about their craft and passion. It’s a personal touch you’ll be hard pressed to find in any other AVA.
Many local wineries have paired their food and wine together for truly iconic experiences. Tsillan Cellars pairs their Tuscan theme with Italian recipes straight from the Old Country at their restaurant, Sorrento’s. Lake Chelan Winery pairs their big reds with even bigger barbeque every weekend during the summer. Try the baby back ribs and Syrah together. Perfection. If lighter bites are your pleasure, Vin du Lac’s bistro features expertly balanced food and wine selections as well. Either way, our restaurants excel at thoughtfully pairing local varietals with artisan, local ingredients.