Château Faire Le Pont Winery: Rustic Elegance
blended with sophisticated hospitality
Winemaker Doug Brazil’s dedication is reflected in his meticulous craftsmanship of each vintage, focusing primarily on popular red single varietals, red blends, and a handful of white varietals.
By Madeline Nelson
“Faire Le Pont.” It’s a French expression meaning “bridging the gap,” used to describe the action of taking an extended four-day weekend holiday. But it’s also the philosophy at the core of a dream come true for the husband and wife team of Doug and Debé Brazil that took the form of a winery called Château Faire Le Pont.
By blending rustic elegance with sophisticated hospitality, Doug and Debé (pronounced Debay) have built the perfect destination winery, enticing guests into extending their stay (bridging the gap) and enjoying an unforgettable fine wine and dining experience.
At Château Faire Le Pont Winery, located in the North Central Washington town of Wenatchee, Debé, head of sales and marketing, has established an environment of leisure and approachable luxury. Hailing from Montreal, Canada, Debé is responsible for sharing the close-to-the-heart family expression with all who enter by ensuring that the spirit of “Faire Le Pont!” is carried out in daily operations.
Whether you come to taste wine, to enjoy a farm-to-table meal, to celebrate a special occasion, or to attend an educational event, Debé’s commitment to excellence is reflected in every aspect of the Château, setting the stage to showcase some of the region’s finest award-winning wines.
Doug, retired Naval recruiter and helicopter pilot of 21 years, is the winery’s winemaker. Discovering his passion for winemaking while traveling the world during his Military service, Doug immersed himself in the culture of wine that would one day lead to his everyday vocation.
Doug’s dedication is reflected in his meticulous craftsmanship of each vintage, focusing primarily on popular red single varietals, red blends, and a handful of white varietals. His approach to crafting the perfect bottle of wine begins directly with the grower. By sourcing some of the state’s most sought after fruit down to the lot and row, this level of quality is assured by hand selecting the grapes alongside the growers from prestigious vineyards such as Elerding Vineyards of the Horse Heaven Hills AVA, and Shaw Vineyards of the Red Mountain AVA.
Once fruit has been selected and carefully harvested, the grapes are transported to the state-of-the-art production facility at the winery where they are hand-sorted, crushed, and transformed into the premium wine Doug consistently produces. The winery is a beautifully renovated 1920’s brick fruit staging warehouse located along the banks of the Columbia River in the foothills of the city of Wenatchee. This multi-use space not only houses the production space, but the Cellar & Barrel Room, Tasting Room, Wedding Venue and Events Center, and a seasonally-inspired restaurant, The Château Grill. Here guests are welcomed to taste through a selection of the Château’s current wine list, which includes Doug’s flagship red blend called “Confluence.”
The Confluence’s spectacular vintages have won numerous awards over the past decade, including the coveted “Diamond of the Decade” award from the Seattle Wine Awards, quickly elevating it to a top seller for the winery. Standing the test of time, the most recent release of Confluence is a 2016 Meritage blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. This blend delights the palate with a complex array of red and black fruits, reminiscent of fresh picked summer Black Cherries, Cassis, and deep Plum.
Through his success with Confluence, Doug has established a reputation for his ability to produce the perfect palate pleasing blends. He annually produces two additional popular blends — “Tre Amore,” a Super Tuscan blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, and a Rhône-style blend called “Provence,” a dazzling combination of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre.
Another hidden gem rising into the spotlight is Doug’s 2015 Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon from Shaw Vineyards. Capturing the essence of Washington Cabernet Sauvignon and reflecting the unique nuances of the terroir in the Red Mountain AVA, this opulent red wine expresses a fine grained tannic structure, balanced with vibrant cherry and a dark red fruit undertone, layered with floral nuances of purple Violets and soft notes of Vanilla Bean. This wine won Double Platinum and “Best of the Best” awards from Wine Press Northwest Magazine in 2019.
In addition to his chart-topping blends and winemaker favorites, Doug also produces a handful of unique single varietals such as the Bordeaux Region’s lost grape, Carménère, and a single varietal Petit Verdot. He takes every step to ensure that his wines are approachable in their youth, yet provide enough structure to age beautifully.
For those who prefer a lighter varietal, Doug produces a Rosé made in the traditional Saignée method each year, as well as a stunning example of an off-dry Riesling, classic Chardonnay, delicate and citrusy Pinot Gris, and a vibrant peachy-pear Viognier. Each wine Doug produces is thoughtfully created to become the perfect accompaniment to a delicious meal prepared in-house at the Château Grill.
The Château Grill offers a farm-to-table menu sourcing fresh organic locally grown produce, ethically harvested meats and poultry, and following the strict guidelines set by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. Curating seasonal, wine-centric meals, the culinary team provides offerings such as the “Tenderloin Carpaccio,” an herb crusted Double R Ranch Tenderloin sliced thin with a Fennel, Arugula and shaved Parmesan. Main entrée selections include “Osso Buco” served with Smoked Cheddar Polenta and topped with Gremolata, and a “Saffron Seafood Risotto” of Wild Prawns, Scallops, Clams, and Halibut in a zesty lemon butter sauce. The grill’s selections don’t just end on a savory note — their in-house baker produces inspired seasonal dessert selections such as Black Cherry Panna Cotta and fresh baked Carrot Cake.
The Château’s romantic indoor dining area offers a sneak preview of the production facility, comfy couches, space for wedding’s and private events. Outdoors, guests can enjoy many of the valley’s beautiful sunny days and panoramic vistas of the surrounding foothills on the deck or in the vineyard.
Unfortunately, because of the grip that Covid-19 currently has on wineries throughout the state, events at Château Faire Le Pont such as live entertainment, winemaker dinners, cooking classes, cake decorating classes, escape rooms, sip n paints, and educational courses such as Doug’s Adopt-A-Vine program have been put on hold.
In the fall of 2018, Doug and Debé opened a second tasting room on Front Street in the charming Bavarian Village of Leavenworth, WA. Unfortunately, because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, both tasting rooms are operating under Phase 1.5 of Governor Inslee’s plan to re-open the state’s economy, which means that both tasting rooms are limited to operating at 25% capacity inside and at 50% capacity outside.
Under normal circumstances, the Leavenworth tasting room would offer a myriad of activities, including live acoustic entertainment, hands on arts and crafts classes, and a weekly dog-centric “Yappy Hour.”
If you are a wine enthusiast and want small boutique wineries such as Château Faire Le Pont to make it through the Pandemic, one way to help is to order a six-pack of wine from your favorite winery and have it delivered, or join your favorite winery’s wine club. Small wineries really need your financial support during these uncertain times.
If you can’t get to either of Château Faire Le Pont’s tasting rooms, you can order all of their wines by calling (888) 874-9463 or (509) 667-9463 and have them shipped to you.
Château Faire Le Pont’s flagship winery and tasting room is located at 1 Vineyard Way, Wenatchee, WA. 98801. (509) 667-9463. And it’s Leavenworth tasting room is located at 636 Front Street, Suite B, Leavenworth, WA. 98826. (509) 888-2108.