Lake Chelan Valley AVA
Lake Chelan Wine Valley – Experience Wine in Washington’s Paradise
EDITOR’S NOTE: Information for this article was provided to DiscoverWashingtonWine.com by the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Chelan Wine Alliance. Learn more about visiting the great wineries in the Lake Chelan wine region by calling the Lake Chelan Chamber at (509) 682-3503, or by visiting the Lake Chelan Chamber website at: www.lakechelan.com. The Lake Chelan Wine Alliance is also a good source of information about the Lake Chelan Valley AVA: Check out their website at www.lakechelanwinevalley.com.
Welcome to the Lake Chelan Wine Valley, the most naturally intoxicating wine destination in the Northwest.
Our vintages are deep and complex, like the cobalt depths outside our wineries’ steps. The glacially carved soil gives our grapes unique character. Our Lake’s depths literally change the seasons here, stretching them out, drawing out late-summer sugars long after others are off the vine.
Some say our most precious resources are the world-class winemakers drawn to these conditions, turning nature’s gifts into the magic in your glass. Engaging and accessible, chances are you’ll talk to more than one on your next wine adventure here. One taste and we know you’ll agree: Lake Chelan Wine Valley is naturally intoxicating.
BREATHTAKING AND DEEP
The Lake Chelan Valley has it all: beautiful hills, a luscious long lake, sun to bask in, fresh air, shopping, dining, music, four distinct seasons and wine. Really good wine.
DRINK IT IN
The Lake Chelan Valley may be a young wine destination, but don’t be fooled.
Designated as an official American Viticulture Area (AVA) in 2009, Lake Chelan offers a one-of-a-kind wine tasting experience featuring 35 wineries hugging the shores of a breathtaking lake. Each winery offers quality wines reflective of the distinctive personality of their grapes and their winemaker.
In geological terms, our soil is relatively young with volcanic pumice on top of a glacially aged scape. It’s the kind of soil vines love to struggle in under the blanket of hot summer days and cool summer nights. You can taste the efficiency of our winter, the quick thaw of spring, our intense summers and a gorgeous harvest in any glass of Lake Chelan AVA wine.
Winemaking is a lot easier with amazing grapes to work with and wine drinking is a lot more memorable when everything around you is beautiful. Even so, we’ve taken our time to tend to our vines and the reward has been award winning. That’s why wine lovers have made the easy jaunt over the hills to return to us summer, winter, spring and harvest.
On your next visit, pause a moment to look around at Lake Chelan’s beauty and drink it all in. Don’t just discover wine history in the making. Write your own chapter. We’ll have a glass waiting for you.
MORE ABOUT THE LAKE CHELAN AVA
Lake Chelan became the 11th AVA in Washington State on May 30, 2009. Our AVA is quite easily described in terms of boundaries. It encompasses the southernmost and easternmost areas of the lake and the surrounding land that is at or below 2,000 feet in elevation.
To make it a bit easier to understand, the AVA begins with the town of Chelan and continues up lake for 12 miles. From an elevation standpoint, you are in the AVA if you dump a bucket of water and it rolls towards Lake Chelan.
A FEW FACTS ABOUT OUR AVA:
- It is encompassed completely within the larger Columbia Valley AVA, but Lake Chelan has a higher elevation and more temperate variation than the more southern AVAs that are also contained within the Columbia Valley.
- The 24,040-acre Lake Chelan AVA includes the southern and eastern portions of land surrounding the lake and shares a northern border with the Columbia Valley AVA.
- Due to the ice age glaciers that formed Lake Chelan, the soil surrounding it has distinctive properties such as coarse, sandy sediment with notable amounts of quartz and mica, and these result in grapes with discernable textures, minerals, and nutrients.
- The AVA is also distinguished by a significant “lake effect” that creates mild and favorable temperatures for surrounding areas, resulting in a longer growing season and a reduced risk of frost.
- Grapes have been grown in the Chelan Valley since before the turn of the 20th century by a few Native Americans and a group of Italian immigrants. In 1949, the area produced grapes from 154 vineyard acres.
The Lake Chelan Valley has been renowned for producing perfect apples, pears, peaches and cherries.
Wine grapes were planted in the valley over 100 years ago but our first production vineyard was planted in 1998 by Bob Christopher and Steve Kludt when they both took out orchard acreage and planted wine grapes.
In 2000, the Kludt Family licensed and bonded the first winery in Chelan County. In 2001, the Kludt Family bottled their first wine from Lake Chelan Winery and in 2002, they sold their first bottle of local wine.
Soon veteran winemakers and confidant wine grape growers made their way to the valley and saw the obvious – that the long growing season with sun-drenched days and lake-cooled nights were perfect for growing wine grapes.
Since then, 35 wineries and over 250 acres of vines have come onto the scene and our winemaking has hit an award-winning stride. Each year, a new member joins our community and we encourage you to meet them.
We are home to tasting rooms with grand entrances and lush grounds as well as sweet little spots nestled against the hills. Each winery arrived with a vision and we’re happy to say, we like how we look.
The 35 wineries in the Lake Chelan AVA are located in the two cities that surround the lake — the city of Chelan and the city of Manson. Wineries located in Chelan include: C3 Corral Creek Cellars, Chelan Estate Winery, Fielding Hills Winery, Karma Vineyards, Lake Chelan Winery, Mellisoni Vineyards, Nefarious Cellars, One Wines, Inc, Rio Vista Wines on the River, Rocky Pond Winery, Sigillo Cellars, Siren Song Wines, Tunnel Hill Winery, Tsillan Cellars and Vin du Lac Winery.
Wineries located in Manson include: Alta Cellars Winery, Amos Rome Vineyards, Ancestry Cellars, Benson Vineyards Estate Winery, Cairdeas Winery, Chelan Ridge Winery, Cheval Cellars, CR Sandidge Wines, Four Lakes Winery, Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards, MVP Vintners, Radiance Winery, Rio Vista Wines at the Cabin, Silver Bell Winery, Skagit Cellars, Succession Wines, Tildio Winery, Tipsy Canyon Winery, Ventimiglia Cellars, Wapato Point Cellars and Wine Girl Wines.