Last updated on May 20th, 2018 at 08:43 pm

Hit a few wineries for tastings while cycling (off the bike) in Chelan: Nefarious CellarsBenson Estate Winery,Mellisoni Vineyards, Hard Row to Hoe and Radiance

Most had free tastings which is unusual in Washington but this area hasn’t been producing for as long as the other AVAs in the state.

I have to give the nod to Mellisoni with a caveat……the best example of their wines were made from grapes sourced at Stillwater Creek….one of the best in the state…. so their wines don’t completely represent fruit from the area. That said, the tastings were uniformly very good…..with my favorites the Pinot Grigio, 180 Degree Rosé and the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Stillwater Creek). The Rosé was an interesting right bank Bordeaux type blend of 5 varietals. Deep red in color but dry and not overly extracted.

Next on the list and very close in quality was Nefarious with a nice dry Rosé of Pinot Noir and a non Rosé Pinot Noir both locally sourced. Heads up: they have a guest house for rent with views of the vineyard and Lake Chelan.

Last on the list is Benson. Their whites were almost uniformly presented with residual sugar which was a disappointment to say the least! We did do a barrel tasting of the 2015 Cabernet Franc which should be a good wine.

Another positive during this trip was that all the locations have drop dead gorgeous views of the lake, with the best…Benson.