Winter doesn't have to be a time of hibernation cuddling under your blanket for 5 months. I dare you to get out and explore the 75 wineries within 55 minutes of each other from Lake Chelan to Leavenworth to Wenatchee and Quincy. Some wineries do shut down after Christmas for a couple months, but plenty do not as wine tasting in our region is still going strong in the winter months (thanks to a few Winterfest festivals and die hard wine fans). Your experience will be just as delightful in the Winter as it is any other time of year. I've highlighted a day of wine tasting in Manson just after a fresh overnight dumping of snow.
WINE TASTING AND SHOPPING AT LAKE CHELAN VINEYARDS
Shopping and sipping wine has got to be one of my favorite things-to-do:) Lake Chelan Vineyards is not only the OLDEST winery in all of Lake Chelan, it is also the only winery with a boutique, BBQ, AND a cheese shop. As you are sipping wine, you are encouraged to peruse the 3000 square foot boutique of wine, home decor, gifts, gourmet foods, and childrens treasures. If you need to rest your feet, there is plenty of seating inside and outside to keep you comfortable. In the summer months, Lake Chelan Winery fires up their pit for the best BBQ in all of Chelan. Take a look at Lake Chelan Winery website for additional information on hours, promotions and menu offerings.
BONUS: Complimentary wine tasting
Someone say Cheese?
Lake Chelan Cheese Shop that is.
Pick up gourmet cheeses, crackers, and spreads at Lake Chelan Cheese Shop to take along on your wine tasting tour. You will definately want to have some snacks to nibble on while you are sipping wine at wineries that do not offer food but have a killer view to sit and enjoy. You WILL NOT find a better selection of cheeses and gourmet foods along the lake then Lake Chelan Cheese Shop. The Lake Chelan Cheese shop offers a wide variety of cheeses from all over the world, complimentary cheese tasting, artisan cheese plates, delicious gourmet Mac-and-cheese and other specialty foods. Only thing is, you'll have to go to Manson to stock up on this creamy goodness.
Located in Lake Chelan Winery
Wine around the fire pit at Benson vineyard
A perfect way to enjoy good wine, friends, and a gorgeous view.
It doesn't get any better than this on a beautiful, 45 degrees, warm winter day wine tasting in Lake Chelan at Mediterranean-inspired estate winery, Benson Vineyards. You could hang out in the cozy tasting room and enjoy the view or you could warm up around the fire pit with a bottle (or two) of wine and make the experience all the more magical. Thanks to Jared, the winemaker, for hanging around the fire pit with our crew and catching up on all the local talk and discovery of mutual acquaintances. The party I was with loved the Benson experience the most.
Side notes: Benson no longer hosts weddings but they do allow select private events. Since there is no food at Benson, bring your own picnic to enjoy. And when summer rolls around, enjoy music on the outdoor lawn for their popular concert series.
BONUS: Complimentary Tastings!
Who you calling a hoe?
hard row to hoe
If you or your party has not heard the story behind the branding of Hard Row to Hoe, then you must hit up this winery for the real life story inspiration behind the wine brand. You may also be amused with the wall paper lining the tasting room (especially in the bathroom). I don't want to give the story away, but the name and pictures below may shed some light as to the wines branding story. This winery is a popular stop on a wine tasters tour and this particular winter afternoon was no exception. With wines named Shameless Hussy and Nauti Bouy, it's no wonder people are intriqued. Kudos to the guy behind the counter for juggling all the guests at once and keeping a good attitude with the 'tipsy' patrons.
Side notes: Hard Row to Hoe also makes and offers tastings of Methode Champenoise sparkling brut zero rosè, and hard cider on tap by glass or take a growler to go.
With over 75 wineries within a 55 mile radius, you have plenty to see and taste. This is just one afternoon of wine tasting during a 5 hour visit. Luckily I only live 30 minutes away and can wine taste anytime I want to. I hope to hit up more wineries during these quieter winter and early spring months. I encourage you to do the same.