As part of the Campbell Road 2009 Saint Patrick’s Week Tour (such as it was), we drove up to Lake Chelan last weekend. Chelan, which tends towards the hot and crowded in summer, is pretty calm this time of year – the hills are gray, the streets are empty, and the water level is so low that the jetties end up some distance from the actual lake. But there are still a few things to do in the area, and we did them: visit a winery, eat pizza, and hang out at the Vogue Liquid Lounge.
Chelan has one of the newest winemaking communities around – our B&B hostess remarked that there was only one winery when she moved there just a few years ago, now there are over a dozen. And they are doing some very fine work indeed. When we arrived in Chelan we had plenty of time to spare, so we headed around the lake up to Manson to visit Tildio Winery (tildio is Spanish for killdeer, a common bird in the area). We’d tasted their wines at the Vogue on previous visits, and really liked their style.
The winery and tasting room are perched on a hilltop overlooking Roses Lake, which was still frozen over on our visit (apart from a small area of open water at one end which was thinly coated with small birds). We tried all the wines available for tasting: a chardonnay-viognier blend, a riesling, a gorgeous big red blend called Robusto, a syrah and a tempranillo. All were good. We bought some. The winemaker also talked us into buying one of his malbecs and a cabernet franc, untasted – we’ll probably be waiting a while before we open those, apparently they’re still pretty tight. We stood out on the tasting room patio in the cold air, smelled the artemisia and lavender, and promised ourselves a return visit when it’s warmer.
(note: Tildio’s malbec just got selected as one of Seattle Magazine’s Best Washington Wines – check it out!)
On to dinner. For delicious, affordable food in Chelan, it’s hard to do better than Local Myth Pizza. They were celebrating their 11th anniversary when we stopped in, and as they said, in Chelan years that’s quite a lot! We got a “garden pizza” with pepperoni, and “sausage two,” which has chicken sausage and artichokes on a creamy leek sauce – a beautiful combination.
We washed down our takeout pizza with a bottle of Benson sangiovese, an estate wine from Manson which isn’t very Italian tasting, but still has a nice acidity to match pizza. And to finish, chocolate cheesecake from the Vogue. And live Irish music (by us), of course.