Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 1: Lake Chelan continued

The B&B was nice and comfortable. We were met by the owner Dennis who showed us our room and gave us a tourist map of the wineries, and some rough directions to get to our desired destinations.

We left immediately as it was already close to fourvo'clock and many of the wineries closed at five or six. Our friends had given us some tips of the top recommended wineries surrounding the lake, and we had picked one already to have dinner at (one of the few with a full restaurant) - which coincidentally turned out to be one of the most highly recommeded and award-winning. So we drove down, across the bridge and through the little town - looking a lot like Penticton mist have looked 25 years ago - and out along the north side of the lake toward Manson. The sun wa baking down and the lake glittered invitingly in the late afternoon sun.

We turned up a side road and made our way to Benson vineyards - one of the top rated and recommended places. They grow all their own grapes, unlike many of the other vineyards who import from other vineyards in the Columbia valley nearby. We enjoyed a couple of great wines there and bought a few bottles. The view across the lake was spectacular. From there we drove into Manson and up to Hard Row to Hoe vineyards. Very small, and still establishing themselves. Their theme, name, decor and wine names are all somewhat sly references to a cross-lake row boat business that ferried randy miners to a lakefront bordello
sometime in the lake's history. The lady serving had the patter down and was quite nice, but had only limited knowledgr of the wines, grapes, and varieties. We did enjoy a couple of whites, and so bought a couple of bottles there too. The S2000's trunk was a little too small for us to pick up cases at each winery stop, so we made do with two or three from each place.

We then drove back to the B&B to unpack and change for dinner. Then we made our way (top-up to preserve the coiffure) to Tsillan winery on the south shore of the lake. Tsillanis pronounced She-lan. Hence the lake and town name.

We had a great dinner on the lawn overlooking the lake and valley. The service was terrible (save for our wine server (Calin/Caitlin/?) who was super knowledgeable and friendly) but the food was really really good, and we had tasters of several good wines while we watched the sunset. So we bought a few bottles and made our way back to the B&B.

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