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Breaking News: Lake Chelan AVA to Become Official Tomorrow


Tsillan Cellars Winery, Lake Chelan

Tsillan Cellars Winery is a world class winery from top to bottom. I tasted a lot of great wine on my trip to Lake Chelan, but Tsillan really rocked my world.

Mutineer Magazine has learned that the Lake Chelan AVA will become official as of tomorrow, April 29, 2009. I had the pleasure of spending some time in this idyllic wine region last week to do a piece for the Wenatchee World newspaper, and let it be known, THE LAKE CHELAN AVA IS MOST CERTAINLY AND UNDENIABLY THE REAL DEAL. This region is poised to do some incredible things, with aromatic white wines using local grapes and similar in style to France’s Alsace region. The local red wines are pretty awesome as well, telling us one thing for certain: this region means business. Do yourself a favor try these wines now, then get on the mailing lists while you still can.

It should be noted that this information came from my contact at the Washington Wine Commission. Wait…what? I thought they were the enemy? Well, in a move reminiscent of the climactic lightsaber battle at the end of “Return of the Jedi”, the Washington Wine Commission has made a bold move from being an arch-nemesis to the Mutineer to becoming a steadfast ally, and we’re pumped to have them on the home team! Mutineer Magazine + Washington Wine Commission = Stories Like This!

Chelan Fruit
Chelan fruit is the real deal.

Vin du Lac
Vin du Lac makes a mean Riesling using local grapes = Minerality to the max…

Lake Chelan Winery
Lake Chelan Winery is the oldest winery in the area.

Benson Vineyards Estate Winery
Tasting some crazy good local Sangiovese at Benson Vineyards Estate Winery with Mother Benson.

Hard Row to Hoe
Wine Tasting + a bordello themed tasting room + a wine label inspired by mariner prostitution adventures? Exactly. Hard Row to Hoe is a Lake Chelan must visit, as demonstrated here by myself with Don and Judy of Hard Row.

Bear Mountain Ranch
Even the Bear Mountain Ranch golf course has some gewurztraminer If you golf, you will find yourself in paradise, with every hole featuring a view of the mighty Lake Chelan.


  1. Jeff | Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    Tsillan Cellars looks amazing. I’d love to visit it.

  2. Cruz | Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    WWC and Mutineer teaming up to promote the hell out of Washing wine… SOUNDS AWESOME! Way to go Alan!

  3. Alan Kropf | Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    Cruz, you are clearly someone of great vision and candor, and I most certainly agree with your observation.

  4. TJ McNasty | Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    im interested in trying a Chelan Pinot Noir, the concept seems crazy, but who knows. Maybe it works.

  5. Jim | Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    Great story. It is nice to see that the Lake Chelan AVA is a reality. I love the wines. It has been a well kept secret until now.

  6. Johnston | Wednesday, April 29, 2009

    I lived in the hills above Lake Chelan in the 70s farming apples … I can personally testify to the premier geography and climate conditions in the north cascade mountain region. It might be a bit like the Mendoza region of Argentina, Now if they will only experment with my personal favorite grape “the malbec” then I can start to get excited. Okay I’m excited anyway ….

    LOL maybe the Boones Farm apple wine will stage a comeback

  7. Johnston | Wednesday, April 29, 2009

    Lake Chelan is 60 miles long 1-2 miles wide and 1500 ft deep (500 ft below sea level)a result of glacial activity many moons ago, you could see about 60 ft deep into the lake. There was a thriving indian presence back in the day the “Wapato Indians” their encampment was on a point about 15 miles up lake from Chelan. JJs Ma & Pa visited me back in the 70s when I lived there and we covered much ground by boat and on foot. Never did see the Chelan species of the Locke Ness Monster … there were reports of Sasquache though, even a slide show in Wenachee one night.

  8. zaza | Wednesday, April 29, 2009

    Wow! Brings back a lot of memories! My first experience picking fresh asparagus
    under the apple trees. Catching trout! Now a phenomenal wine experience.
    I can’t wait to find a bottle or better yet go back to Lake Chelan.
    You guys rock!
    Johnston is quite the historian. Keep it up.

  9. brian | Thursday, April 30, 2009

    Way to go Chelan! Good to see MM and the WWC finally working together.

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