There’s a up and coming wine “hot-spot” right about in the exact middle of Washington State and it has adopted its own label of the Cascade Valley Wine Country. This region consists of three major areas of Wenatchee, Leavenworth and Lake Chelan – this weekend, I had the chance to visit wineries in Wenatchee and Chelan.
Stemilt Creek is a small winery that’s operated by a husband and wife team, Kyle and Jan Mathison and has a tasting room downtown Wenatchee. Kyle grows the fruit and Jan makes the wine – it’s a good way for each of them to seek out their passions.
Most of their wines are very fruit-driven – in fact he prefers to harvest at a minimum of 26 brix – not my personal style, however, I know a lot of winos out there who’d appreciate it. Lots of over-the-top-fruit, oak and tannins – would be good wines for a peppercorn-covered rib-eye steak.
Next stop was to Fielding Hills which over-looks the city of Wenatchee – is owned and operated by Mike and Karen Wade. Fruit growers at heart, this duo cranks out some of the most sought-after vino in the area and that’s largely because of Mike’s commitment to not “muck up the juice” and let the essence of both the grape and it’s relative terrior shine through.
His wines – generally – had great acidity, killer fruit and a finish that hang out for a long time. Good wine overall from what I could tell – if you ever get the chance to find any of their wines, I’d highly recommend you give them a whirl.
Next up was Martin-Scott winery which is about a stones-throw away from Fielding Hills. Like the Wades, Mike Scott and family also have their background in agriculture and has found a way to take the experience as a grower and put that into grapes. Mike was the first winemaker of the day to honestly pan one or two of his wines – that is, he had a couple he “didn’t really care for too much” which was very refreshing for me to have a winemaker be that honest and embrace his own palate – I love it.
We ended that day at St. Laurent Winery with a nice dinner, good wines and the chance for me to break bread with the son’s owner, Bryan. This winery has a lot of estate fruit available – over 200 acres – and uses the yoda-like-calmness of its winemaker, Craig Mitrakul, to churn out wines that are true to terroir and tend to reflect the local regions rather well.