It sneaks up on us, but spring is here. The first sign is the Balsamroot, which dots the hills in yellow flowers. The birds are chirping, the days are longer and there’s even an afternoon or two of alfresco dining. It’s the month of Chelan Nouveau, where you can taste the new releases of fantastic whites and future award winners. Stand on the patio and lean into the sun. The shadows are still soft and the tasting rooms still calm, but not for long. Take a walk in the hills or sit on the deck and gaze at the lake. Whatever you do, pause a moment to look around and take in the beauty of the Chelan Valley – it's naturally intoxicating.
No other place in the valley will you have an instant sense of family. The stone cottage tasting room brings you into a different mindset and you are urged to relax, take a load off and simply enjoy. Out by the waterfall fountain you can gaze into . . .
Spot the red nautical flag and head up the road for an afternoon of delight at Hard Row to Hoe. It’s a lively and intimate tasting room and one look around should clue you to the theme. Once you hear the story behind their name, you’ll get a sense th . . .
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SUNSET WINE EDITOR SARA SCHNEIDER discovers the sophisticated side of Washington’s summer playground, where sandcastles and jet skis are making way for (really good) wine. . .