The beautiful region around
Leavenworth is located in and/or close to the large Columbia
Valley AVA and the new recently established (April 2009) Lake
The wineries in this region may
get their grapes locally, but may also source some or all of their
grapes from vineyards 100+ miles further afield in south-east
A more casual and relaxed
attitude prevails on 'this side of the mountains' - ie, east of
the main north/south lying Cascade mountain range. This is
manifest in many ways, including lower fees to taste wine and a
wider range of wine samples included in a tasting session.
If you're visiting Leavenworth
(and you should - see our related series about
visiting Leavenworth) then
a day or afternoon of wine tasting and touring around the
beautiful region is a great way to add to the
range of experiences in this lovely part of Washington.
The Leavenworth area, due to being on the other side of the
Cascade Mountain range (compared to Seattle), has a very different climate to that
found in Seattle. It has much hotter summers and much
If you don't like hot weather (ie temperatures often up into the
90s) you might want to avoid the hottest times during July and
August. And if you're not comfortable driving in the snow,
you'll probably not want to be driving down minor roads and up
driveways that may not be well snow plowed in the coldest,
snowiest times of winter either (December - February, more or
But if you're limiting your wine tastings to simply
ambling along Leavenworth's main street, going from tasting room
to tasting room (click link for related article on this
topic), you should have no problems with weather, no
matter what the sun or snow is doing outside.
One related issue is that of how you travel to and from
Leavenworth - if you're driving, snow can sometimes make the
mountain passes slightly challenging, possibly requiring chains
(discussed in our general
article about Leavenworth).
This suggests that the most convenient time of year for visiting
wineries in this region will usually be from about March through
to about December, possibly with a break mid July through mid
Wineries and/or Tasting Rooms
You'll find a number of wineries close to Leavenworth and
in the nearby Wenatchee
region, plus a concentration of 15 more wineries in the Lake
Chelan area, about 50 easy driving miles north-east of
These are what we term 'estate' wineries because they are
usually on some land, where they may grow some of the grapes
they use for wine making too (although it is common for the
wineries to also bring in some of their grape requirements from
In addition to the wineries, there are also a range of tasting
rooms in downtown Leavenworth. These are generally owned
by a winery located somewhere else that wishes to introduce the
public to its wines, and are discussed in the next page of this
If you want to tour around the region, visiting wineries, and
have someone else do the driving for you, an organized tour can
be the best solution.
In Leavenworth there are three hour wine tours offered by
LE Tours (aka Leavenworth Enchanted Tours for $55/person on
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, plus various enhanced tours
including the basic wine tour and something else as well (eg spa
visit or dinner).
Another company offering various wine touring packages is
Leavenworth Wine Tours.
Or, if you'd prefer to abandon the more formal image of being
chauffeured around in a stretch limo, perhaps you'd prefer
Sasquatch Jeep Tours and their 3 - 4 hour combination wine
tour and scenic tour around the Leavenworth area, in a Jeep
Wrangler. Tours start from $65 per person.
Self Touring Strategies
Basically you can choose from several different touring options
Wineries close to Leavenworth
In-town wineries and tasting
Wineries in the Lake Chelan
The Lake Chelan area deserves a separate page, which we may
write subsequently. As for the other two options, although
there aren't a great number of wineries to visit, due to the
generosity of the sampling you'll be offered, you'll probably
find three of them to be more than sufficient.
If you want to go driving around, we suggest you go first
to Eagle Creek, then to Wedge Mountain, then spend a relaxing
balance of your afternoon at Icicle Ridge. Cascadia would
be our fourth choice, and seriously you're going to have
problems with your blood alcohol level if you taste at all four
wineries, so it may be prudent to leave Cascadia off your
If you'd rather go walking around the tasting rooms in
Leavenworth township, we suggest you avoid Bavarian Cellars, and
we suggest you do visit both Bergdorf Cellars (which is actually
a winery) and the tasting room immediately adjacent which
showcases wines from both Pasek Cellars and Willow Crest.
If you wanted to add another tasting room or two (and, after
all, you are walking, right?) then Okanogan Estate would
probably be our third choice. And then, if you're at
Okanogan Estate, well, Ryan Patrick is almost directly opposite,
so you may as well try and visit there too.
The Wineries Close to Leavenworth
There are five wineries close to Leavenworth, plus one located
in central downtown. One of them,
Keller (pictured at the top of the article) opened perhaps
in 2007, but after a year or so of being open regular hours, it
is now apparently always closed, apart from occasionally opening
by arrangement for special group tours.
It is our impression that this winery is as much a personal
hobby as a full-time business for its owner, well known local
building contractor Bob Duncan. You could try calling to
see if they'll be open, but being as how there are plenty of
other wineries and tasting rooms to choose from, perhaps there
is no need to do so.
The other wineries are (in alphabetical order) :
This winery suffers from having perhaps the least attractive
setting, being in a row of light industrial/semi-retail tenants
in a concrete building facing directly onto the street.
Inside you'll find a combination tasting room/store, behind
which is the winery itself. The winery is very small and
very new, being established in December 2006 and producing about
800 cases of wine at present. You're sure to see either
the wine maker, Alan, or his wife Lilith in the store, and if
you're polite and pleasant, they'll probably proudly invite you
to see their small wine making facility out the back.
Tastings are free, and depending on what is available, you may
be offered as many as seven different wines to sample.
Some of the wines are quite distinctive, including a rarely
found Roussanne and some apple wine. They also have a
Cherry Merlot dessert wine.
The tasting room is open Thursday - Sunday. More details
Like all the other wineries, this is north-east of Leavenworth,
and only a short 10 minute or so drive.
The winery building is small but attractive, and there is some
nice outdoor seating both in front (on the road side) and down at the
rear (where the tasting room entrance is). The tasting
room itself is also small, but nicely decorated. Food
platters are sometimes offered.
Tastings are free, and typically you'll be offered a couple of
red wines and a couple of white wines to sample. In
addition to 'normal' wines (particularly Cabernet Franc blends)
they also have a raspberry wine. They produce about 1000
cases of wine a year.
Their tasting room is open Friday - Sunday between May and
October inclusive. They also have a tasting room on the
fat west side of downtown Leavenworth, D'Vinery. There is
also a rental cottage if you want to truly make a day/night of
More details on their
This winery has a stunningly beautiful combination of lovely
tasting room (the entire log home you see in the picture) in a
wonderful natural panoramic setting.
The log building was formerly the family home. But with
the continued growth of the winery, it is now the main
hospitality center for the winery, with tables and chairs on a
deck wrapped around two sides of the building as well as plenty
more inside. The house overlooks a lovely lake as well as
the verdant valley it is nestled in, vines around, and the
Cascade Mountains ranged around as a backdrop. The main
winery facility is in an adjacent building, from where they
currently produce about 4500 cases of wine a year.
In the summer they offer various outdoor jazz concerts and other
special events, usually with a catered dinner included as well.
If you visit, you'll be seated at a table and served pours from
up to 12 different wines. The cost for all of this?
Nothing. Amazing. Hopefully you'll choose to buy at
least one bottle of wine in return for such hospitality and
Icicle Ridge also has a tasting room in downtown Leavenworth,
where you're charged a nominal $2.50 to taste a selection of
Full details on
their website. They are open daily.
Silvara Vineyards Winery
This is a new winery that we've yet to visit. It is
located a couple of miles east of Leavenworth, just off Hwy 2 at
77 Stage Rd, not far from the turn-off to Peshastin and Cascadia
Reportedly it has a nice location and tasting facilities that is
open daily. We must go check it out.
More details on
This is another small winery, set back from the road down a long
driveway, and surrounded by orchards and vines. They were
established in 2001 and produce 1200 - 1500 cases of wine each
The winery itself is in a small cave/cellar, with the front
on-grade and then tunneling back a short distance into the
ground, which adds a nice extra bit of atmosphere to the
A $5 tasting fee gets you samples of about five or sometimes
more wines. As well as regular classical grape based
wines, they also produce some fruit wines from apples, cherries
They are open Thursday through Monday of each week. More
And a Micro-Brewery
There's a fun micro-brewery in the small town of Cashmere, just
a few miles east of Leavenworth on Hwy 2, if you'd like to mix
your drinking experiences.
They operate out of
a former warehouse space, opposite the train tracks, at 215
Mission Ave, Cashmere, WA 98815.
They started business in
2004 with a 1.5 barrel (ie 50 gallon) brewing system, and have
grown twice, now with a 10 barrel capacity, and are looking at
further growth. Clearly they're doing something right.
When you walk through the rather anonymous front door - or
possibly sooner - you'll probably be immediately assailed by the
wonderful smells associated with brewing fresh craft beers.
Depending on what stage in the brewing process they are at, you
might get rich malty/sweety smells, the floral flavor of the
hops, or the complex smells from the fermenting yeast.
The brewery serves six or seven different types of beer,
including a continuously hopped IPA and a very strong 'Suffocater'
(8.6% ABV). I prefer a dry hopped IPA myself, but the
continuously hopped IPA is rare and is interesting, because you
get to experience hop notes from all the different stages of the
The actual brewing area shares space with the
drinking/bar area (hence the strong smells as you enter), making the experience much more closely
associated with the production of the product you're enjoying.
There's even a pool table if you're wanting to relax and stay
for a longer time.
You can also get beer to go in growlers and kegs.
They are open sort of Wednesday - Saturday, afternoons and early
evenings, but as
says, they're often there at other times too and the lack of an
'Open' sign shouldn't stop you from visiting.
seven of a series on wine trail touring in WA, see
About the US wine industry in general
2. Wine making in Washington state
Wine touring in Washington state
4. Wine costs, pricing, and quality
tours and tasting around Seattle - the large wineries
boutique wineries in the Woodinville area
7. Wine trail tours
Wine tasting in
Related Articles, etc
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19 Jun 2009, last update
26 Aug 2018
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