Tile walkways lead you inside the Spanish mission-style winery where you will find a one-of-a-kind gift shop and a room-wide wine tasting bar. Owner/winemaker Mike Conway brings definite preferences to his wine styles which include Chardonnay, Riesli
Fair, 66° F
Retail Sales, Gift Shop, Picnic Area, Tasting Room
Hours of Operation
7 days a week, 9am-5pm
Open to the Public
Yearly Production (in cases)
Latah Creek Wine Cellars was established in 1982 in Spokane - a major metropolitan area in the Northeast corner of Washington State. The winery is one of only a few family owned and operated wineries within the State. Mike Conway, with over 40 years of winery experience, and his wife Ellena pair together to run one of the most successful small wineries in this relatively new viticultural region. While Mike assumes the management, winemaking and vineyard tasks, Ellena takes on the accounting, fiscal, tasting room, and gift shop responsibilities. Mike & Ellena announced in 2005 that their daughter Natalie would be joining the family business as the assistant winemaker.
Grapes from which Latah Creek's award winning wines are made come from two geographically different areas about 150 miles South and West of the winery. The vineyard producing our Merlot, Cabernet and Sangiovese grapes (along with our Muscat Canelli) is located in Central Washington on the south facing hills of the Wahluke Slope. This region boasts the longest and warmest growing season in the Northwest. The reds produced are typically more full-bodied than from any other area in the state and can be easily identified by their inky-dark color. Our Chardonnay grapes come from Conner Lee Vineyards, about 5 miles south of Othello. Our remaining grapes come from vineyards located near the town of George, overlooking the Columbia River. Slightly cooler than the Wahluke Slope, this area is noted for producing wines which are delicate and fruity in nature - lighter-styled whites excel.
Latah Creek's Winemaker, Mike Conway, started his career in the wine industry in 1972 as a microbiology technician for the largest winery in the United States, E&J Gallo. After leaving Gallo in 1975, two additional years were spent in the microbial field as the winery microbiologist at nearby Franzia Brothers Winery. In 1977, Mike's aspirations toward winemaking were fulfilled when he accepted an assistant winemaker's position with the Parducci winery in Northern California. After three years of training and experience at Parducci, Mike was offered a full charge winemaking job in a relatively unknown, new emerging wine area: Washington State. There he undertook the responsibility of starting up and operating a new winery. His immediate success prompted a move in 1982 that dramatically changed the face of the Washington State wine industry - two new wineries were started where Mike performed winemaking duties. Latah Creek and The Hogue Cellars were brought about through a joint venture with grape grower Hogue and winemaker Conway. After two years, the two operations were separated so full attention could be given to Mike and Ellena's own winery: Latah Creek. In 2005, Natalie graduated Cum Laude with Honors from Eastern Washington University with a Bachelor degree in Biology. With hopes of taking over the winery one day, she is currently learning winemaking from her father and the fiscal aspects of the business from her mother.
Production at Latah Creek is maintained at about 17,000 cases annually. Today, roughly 10 percent of that total consists of red wines while another 10 percent is devoted exclusively to Chardonnay. 60 percent is comprised of our most popular wines, Riesling and Huckleberry d'Latah. The remaining 20 percent includes smaller lots of Muscat Canelli, Moscato d'Latah and proprietary blends of Maywine, Spokane Blush and our newest wine: Natalie's Nectar.