It’s been said that many great ventures begin in a garage and our story is no exception. With what started off as a hobby quickly materialized to a full time job as our passion for crafting premium artisan wines developed. In 2010, we planted a small test block/demonstration vineyard containing Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Tempranillo and Riesling and quickly got to work restoring our 100 year old barn which would serve as our production facility and eventually a tasting room.
Location was also on our side… With over 300 “sunny” days a year, our unique grape growing climate is influenced by the lake itself which creates a “lake effect” that moderates temperatures throughout the growing season and protects against frost damage in winter by re-radiating heat absorbed during the summer in the later months of fall and winter. This has an effect of extending the “hang time” of the fruit on the vine which allows sugars and acids in the grape to stay in balance as phenols that can add complexity to the wine. Influenced by the recent approval of the Lake Chelan American Viticultural Area (AVA), and the growing success of our thriving wine valley, taking the next step just made sense.
In 2012, our winemaker enrolled in Washington State University’s Enology Certificate Program and prepared for our first real crush. As the year went on, equipment arrived and the place was starting to look like a real winery. Our first crush was a family affair that evolved many long days (and nights!). Before we knew it, we had successfully crushed over 10 tons of fruit, consisting of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
As with any new business, we have ambitions of growing our brand while preserving our traditional, hand-crafted approach that comes with a family run winery. As we continue to produce premium artisan wines, our family is excited for what the future holds and looks forward to sharing the fruits of our labor with you!
— The Crowder Family