A Wine Region Flourishes in Central Washington

A Wine Region Flourishes in Central Washington
News
When the apple market collapsed about 15 years ago in the region around Lake Chelan in centralWashington State, a handful of farmers decided to make the transition from apples to grapes. Though the apple market has recovered, there’s been no turning back for these erstwhile orchardists. Along the shores of Lake Chelan, wineries have been popping up as quickly as bubbles in a newly uncorked bottle of Champagne.

 

Designated an official American Viticultural Area in 2009 and one of Washington’s fastest-growing wine regions, Lake Chelan now has almost two dozen wineries clustered around its southern end. The narrow lake, about 50 miles long, has long attracted tourists, in particular Seattle residents only four hours away by car, but now its award-winning wineries have put it on the map for other travelers. The cool nights, arid climate and unique mixture of volcanic and glacially formed soil all make the lake conducive to winemaking, the region’s vintners said.