It’s not secret to Washingtonians — that Lake Chelan is the third deepest lake in the country — but do you know about the depth of wine coming out of the Lake Chelan Wine Valley? We asked the Lake Chelan Wine Alliance to let us in on the secrets they are pouring these days.
“The Lake Chelan Wine Valley is home to many winery and tasting room experiences for visitors,” said Heather Scaman, Executive Director of the Lake Chelan Wine Alliance. “Some have grand estates and lush grounds, others offer a hip downtown vibe, still others are nestled in the hills with lake and mountain views. The Lake Chelan AVA is home to over 30 wineries and tasting rooms amongst the 300+ acres of vines. Winemaking in the Lake Chelan Wine Valley has hit award-winning stride. Each year, new members join our community and we invite you to meet them all.”
The Lake Chelan American Viticultural Area is the 11th AVA in Washington State, which was federally approved on May 30, 2009. It encompasses the southernmost and easternmost areas of the lake and the surrounding land that are at or below 2,000 feet in elevation. 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 can dump a bucket of water and it rolls towards Lake Chelan.
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 discernible 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.”
We have experienced this “lake effect” many times ourselves, and hope that you, too, will get the chance to revel in the beauty of Lake Chelan, and experience the wines coming out of this picturesque region.
For more information, you can visit them at https://lakechelanwinevalley.com: