You undoubtedly know about the fine wines coming out of the state of Washington. Walla Walla, Washington, is the center or gateway to the Washington State wine country and that is where most people vacation when touring the wineries of Washington.
Lake Chelan wine country is an altogether different venue for wine tasting tourism. The lake is a fabulous resort area,very picturesque and inviting. Most folks who visit Washington for its wine country never even think about this wine region. It was given its AVA status only recently, in 2009. It is about a five-hour drive northwest of Walla Walla. From Seattle, it is an easy three-hour drive.
In some aspect, Lake Chelan reminds us a little of Lake Tahoe that sits in California and Nevada. The big difference is that Lake Chetan is home to 20 family-owned wineries. These wineries are all small producers, so the wines are sold out of the tasting rooms or via their online wine shops. You are unlikely to find these wines outside of the state of Washington.
The best way to learn about the wonderful wines of Lake Chelan is to do what we did, make a visit to the area. We made our visit with several wine bloggers who elected to take a pre-conference excursion to the region. We were wined and dined, and even treated to a Seaplane Ride, by the Lake Chelan Winery Association.
The AVA of Lake Chelan is a versatile region, with the many different microclimates enabling growers to grow many different grape types. We tasted many good white wines including Pinot Gris, Gerwurztraminer, Riesling, Viognier, and Chardonnay. Karma and Hard Road to Hoe wineries also make some delicious sparkling wines. The reds, such as Merlot, Syrah, Primotivo, Sangiovese and more, are equally delicious and tasty.
Our trip to the Lake Chelan wine country can best be summed up in this two-minute video.
The People and Places of Lake Chelan