48 Hours in Lake Chelan

May 3, 2016

I like wine. No, what I should have said is I love wine (as evidenced by my bio in the right-hand column, my angst of not having it during the Whole 30, by how we spend our time on road trips, and my favorite part of the Festival at Sandpoint).

Those of us native to the Northwest understand the travel itch that comes along every February/March. When we’re just over the dreary winter days and ready for a little exploring that doesn’t involve a parka. This year we were lucky enough to get invited to go on not one, but two short trips to Washington’s wine country.


The first of our trips took us to Lake Chelan, a small lake town in the middle-of-nowhere Washington. Our good friends Megan, Dylan, Caitlyn and Aaron invited us to split a condo they rented over Valentine’s weekend.

This was actually my second time visiting Chelan, and I can’t believe I forgot to do a post about my last trip! I totally thought I had, and when I went to reference it while we were there, I found nothing. So aggravating because it would have been a good one (it was for a bachelorette party). Sorry, my bad.

We headed over early on Saturday, coffee mugs in hand, hoping to make it to town by lunch. It doesn’t take much time on the highway to go from city-scape to prairie as we made our way through eastern Washington. We passed the occasional small town and farmhouse, but other than that, nothing. Just rolling hills covered in snow for miles in any direction.

We spent the afternoon strolling the main street, stopped for ice cream and looked around at shops while planning our evening.

We decided to hit up a couple wineries before we could check in to our condo (more on what wineries we went to below). While sipping on our last wine flight of the day, we asked for dinner recommendations and quickly decided on a Mexican place with the reputation of having excellent margaritas.

We woke up fairly early the next morning and decided to go for a hike before heading back into town. We ended up hiking at Echo Ridge, a trail system that offered sweeping views of the valley, river and lake.

Hiking Echo Ridge in Lake Chelan

Hiking Echo Ridge in Lake Chelan
There was a lot more snow there than we had anticipated, but luckily the path was hard enough to walk over in most places.

We spent the entire afternoon driving around (with DD’s, don’t you worry), sampling wine and its paired chocolate (it was Valentine’s Day weekend after all). That night we made a steak dinner, played games and enjoyed the company of good friends before leaving town the next morning. 

Where we went:

Marcela’s Mexican Restaurant

Marcela’s has your typical Mexican cuisine but what stood out to me the most is their margaritas. So good! When it comes to mixed drinks, less is more for me so I ordered their “healthy” margarita made with fresh lime juice and asked for some Grand Marnier to top it off.

Wineries:

Felding Hills 

Favorite Wine: 2010 Syrah

Fielding Hills Winery wasn’t my favorite, to be honest, and I didn’t realize it until I forgot to put it on the list when I started writing this. They had some really cool decor, but they were extremely busy, expensive and the server forgot about us multiple times. That said, they had a beautiful view, nice staff and the wine was delicious.

Siren Song
Favorite Wine: Auberge

Reservations Required

The Siren Song winery/restaurant we visited is very new, and very unique. Their site describes their wines as:

“Siren Song wines reflect the food and wine adventures of proprietors Kevin and Holly Brown. The Brown’s believe everyone has a calling, a ‘Siren Song’. Their calling is to share the romance and beauty of hand crafted wines and food pairings with you!”

Siren Song is bright, colorful and has some cool artwork. I’d recommend it.

Hard Row to Hoe

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Favorite Wine: Seduction

MY. FAVORITE. BY. FAR.

Their wine is good, but I’m married to this as my favorite because of their story.

The owners of Hard Row to Hoe took over the Edgemont Lodge, a brothel built in the early 20s, located at Point Lovely.

According to their story, “during the late 1930’s construction was winding down at Grand Coulee Dam and a few of the Coulee Dam professional ladies moved to Edgemont Lodge to ‘serve’ the miners from the newly operational Howe Sound Mine. One story has it that a long-time Manson resident ran a rowboat taxi service from Lucerne to Point Lovely in support of the thriving enterprise.”

Their decor is both hilarious and historical, the wine is great and the owners love to tell the story first-hand. PLEASE be sure to visit Hard Row to Hoe some day.

Ciardeas

Favorite Wine: Consonance

Cairdeas (pronounced ‘Cardis’) actually had some of our favorite wines of the visit. Cairdeas is a new winery, and carries a very family-owned industrial farmhouse vibe.

According to their site, Cairdeas is an ancient Gaelic word meaning friendship, goodwill or alliance.

“We believe in all three. Good wine should be shared with friends, goodwill spread at every opportunity, and alliances created with those who share our passion.”

I really like a good blend, and they had several excellent ones to choose from.

Tildio

Favorite Wine: Stride

I most remember Tildio for their dogs,  Jake and Ruby (would you expect anything less from me?). We learned that a Tildio is a cute little bird, that serves as their logo. The owners, Milum and Katy Perry (not the singer, we asked), started planting Tildio’s vineyard in Lake Chelan in 2002 and opened their tasting room three years later.

That’s my “Lake Chelan in 48 hours” trip guide. If you go, be sure to also go to the Lake Chelan Winery, we didn’t get to go on this round, but when I went before we got to learn a lot more about the area and go back to where they ferment the wine and try a sample straight from the tank.

What’s your favorite winery in Lake Chelan? I’d love to put it on my “next time” list, as I’m sure we’ll go back again.

Cheers!
Andy

More about Andy

I'm a north-Idahoan, a WSU grad, local writer, content marketing specialist and photographer with a passion for where I live. I love the outdoors, animals, good food, wine, and time spent with my husband, family and friends.

6 Comments
    1. Loved this post! I’m thinking about a trip there for an anniversary this fall. Looks fantastic!

    1. […] take a step back before all that, like two months ago, to a nicer time when we went on our second spontaneous wine tasting trip of 2016. This time we wound our way through the Palouse to the wonderful wine town of Walla Walla, […]

    1. Chelan is absolutely gorgeous and packs a lot of fun possibilities into any visit there. So glad you had a great time!

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