This was our third trip to Lake Chelan this past year. Can you tell we like the place? Mostly we are attracted to the wine from the region, but the views are quite the draw too. Charlie and I booked the weekend as a Christmas gift for his mom and brother and we were ecstatic to show them our new favorite vacation spot… and possible future home of Cairdeas Winery.
We enjoyed dinner in the first night in our three-bedroom abode at The Lake House (the must-stay-at spot in Lake Chelan for the perfect home-away-from-home vacation). On day two, we were off to the wineries. Our first stop was Four Lakes Chelan Winery. Newly opened July 2009, we had to stop in and try their wines. A bit young they were… I would suggest giving them some more time in the bottle. The views, however, were spectacular.
Our second stop was Tildio Winery where we ran into an old friend… of sorts. We met Anton on our first official vacation to Chelan and he immediately recognized us when we walked into their tasting room. Check out their Tourmalet, a Pinot Noir, but snatch it up fast. They have ceased growing the grape and once this wine runs out, it is gone.
Hard Row to Hoe was our third stop – the name is a pun on the challenges of male miners in early Lake Chelan days and a nod to a tough harvest. It is fitting for viticulture and the history of the region, not to mention so ridiculously fun. This winery’s tasting room is dressed up as a brothel complete with room keys and kama sutra wallpaper. Don’t let the disguise fool you though; this wine is some of the best in Lake Chelan. The winemaker is a perfectionist and if a batch doesn’t aspire to greatness, it’s bottled under the Shameless Hussy label.
Saving our favorite for last, we ended our Saturday wine tasting tour at Benson Vineyards. We sampled through their new spring releases, tried a few old favorites, and some new red blends. Indecisive and feeling great at this point, we left a chunk of our paycheck behind in exchange for full case of wine. After tasting, we bought a bottle of Syrah and headed outside for picnic. We had packed a lunch with slow cooked ham, bread from the Anjou Bakery in Cashmere, and fromage from Mt. Townsend Creamery.
We had fun showing our family Lake Chelan and scoping out a spot to plant our vineyard. We will be back soon… in two weeks to be exact!