NFR Wine- Wa or CA

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Charles Sullivan, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. The Chelan/Manson area has over 20 wineries, more vineyards and some outfits that do tours. It's not as big an area as some of the other regions, but the scenery can't be beat.

    Lake Chelan Winery has a cool outside restaurant right in one of their vineyards. It's hard to beat a meal with this type of view.

    flybill likes this.
  2. A typical evening for me.

    I enjoy your story and all, but this is simply not enough of a sample size. Besides, for what the OP was looking for, Walla Walla or BC for a trip with his wife, and considering his location, BC would probably be a better choice.
  3. Those are good choices....since we will be taking up mostly cab's and merlot's.

    How much per bottle?? So I can get a Washington wine in the same price range.

    Plugpoint....I have not been impressed, so far, with Lake Chelan wines. However, that Lost River Winery in your hometown is pretty good.
  4. Lol. My wife is same way. She pouts when wine cabinet falls under 20 bottles. Usually when we go wine tasting we EASILY come back with a case of wine (not including the case of pre purchased wines she usually has waiting for her in Ellensburg).

    Spoke to my wife about this thread. Now she's set on going to Walla Walla. Damned it! Guess I'll visit my cousins while I'm there lol.
  5. The price range is $20-$40 depending on wine and vintage. Also, try the Hestor Creek Merlot at around $20/bottle-a bargain IMO. I also enjoy Lost Creek and have a couple "growlers" for their Community Red, which is our normal drinking wine when at our Winthrop place! Liam is also a friend of our kids since high school so always fun to visit him at the tasting room! Rick
  6. OK, out of the goodness in my heart, I took a scouting trip to Walla Walla. (Happened to be on our college tour.) Very neat place to visit. GO!
    Stayed at the Marcus Whitman. It's no doubt a bit more than some chains, but it is classy, within walking distance to many tasting rooms (some accessed from the lobby) and serves a killer breakfast buffet, gratis. Also ate at the Mill Creek Brewpub. It was ok. We will definately return for a wine tour weekend.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  7. The Seattle Times ran a Sunday front page feature a few weeks ago about Walla Walla and how the wine industry has transformed the region. It's a worthwhile read for anyone unfamiliar with the area and how the quality of its wines have become world-famous.

    State wine industry making global splash
    Washington's wine industry has bloomed into an $8 billion empire, gaining the world's attention as it continues to grow.

  8. I have pretty much decided on Kelowna and Pectinton/ Oliver. It looked prettier than WW. There are options for people to drive us. It is closer than WW for me too. I appreciate all of your help. If I'm ever in WW I'll check it out.

    Go Sox,
  9. If I had a time machine, and could set it back 30 years, I'd go to Napa. Or if 20 years, Sonoma. Or 10 years, Walla Walla. But since I don't have a time machine, the wife and I like Rattlesnake Hills just outside of Yakima. Easy day trip from Seattle, or stay in various B&Bs in the area, or at a condo at Reds, or in Ellensburg, or Yakima.

    You won't have the bus crowds/traffic of Napa, tasting fees, or end up paying $30 for a $20 bottle of wine. What you will get is the ability to meet the owner/wine maker, who will take time out of his or her busy day to get drunk with you while you taste all 14 different wines they make. All for free, with no crowds. Can't beat that.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  10. 'Wine of Choice' when I was at University. God could you get drunk on that stuff!
  11. Ah yes Napa and Sonoma wineries. Worked at one (part time) while I was getting my Vineyard Management degree and watching the 'evolution' from 'free' to a tasting fee (but you got to keep the glass ... whoopie-woopie). What killed it was the crowds of people that would come up from San Francisco for 'free drinks.' Winery owner's finally got to gether and did a 'What the hell is all this costing us?'' Bottom line was the price of a bottle was $30.00 at the winery and you could buy the same thing for $22.00 to $25.00 at Safeway.

    There a couple of weeks and the fellow who normally did the 'week end accounting' was on Holiday (or what-ever) and I was asked to do same. I guess they figured someone my age was not going to put his hand in the till. Couple of weekends account for bottles used, taxes paid, yada-yada and there was a hell of a negative spreed between income and out go. Talk with the Manager and we started to charge a couple of weeks later.
  12. I'm late to the party here. I definitely agree that Walla Walla is the best wine area to visit and best wines in WA (as a whole).

    That said - for anniversary type of trip - good food wine and scenery - I would personally choose the Willamette Valley in OR. More scenic than EWa - rolling hills of pine forests and vineyards. The best Pinot Noir in the US - and for the dollar the world (Burgundy is too expensive and too hit and miss in the affordable range). Great white wines too.

    Granted the one thing it doesn't offer in your criteria is walkability and short drives. The best wineries and restaurants to visit are spread over a large area.
    Kent Lufkin and Charles Sullivan like this.
  13. After getting on a streak of drinking good red wines.....I always buy a Pinot Noir or two to remind me that there are still bad wines being made!!!

    I good Pinot is to be treasured since GOD made so few of them!!
    Grayone likes this.
  14. I did that with her 10+ years ago. It was great. My personal favorite wines.

    Go Sox,

  15. Vlad, Vlad, Vlad - granted that everything they say about PN is true (tricky to grow, tricky to make), there is so much more good PN and consistency in the Willamette now than a decade ago, even a half dozen years ago. And, surprisingly, so much good PN <$25. sure, you go <$20 and it is primarily (but not exclusively) the mass produced stuff.

    so the main problem with PN is the cost, not that there are so few good Pinots. there are limitless great Pinots in OR if you are willing to get into the $20+ price point (better $25-30+)

    ... that's why I make my own (as a hobby) ... and I have been humbled by it more than any other grape that I have worked with. Think of it as catching steel on a fly ... it's not the bad stuff, you just have to know what you're doing (and I do not).
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  16. Consider it again now - there r so many phenomenal places now that did not exist then

  17. I'm glad you eventually went with the Canadian Okanagan Valley. I did it myself with my then-fiancé-now-wife, back several years ago. That was part of a combination fly fishing and wine country road trip. We both had a good time. The fishing was okay, though Tunkwa, in the Kamloops area, was kind of weak at the time. You might consider convincing your wife into letting you get in a little fly fishing time, as there are lots of small lakes in the area and even some fly fishing only lakes. Just get yourself a Backroad Mapbook Road & Recreation Atlas for the Kamploops/Okanagan region ( That atlas goes into through detail on the fishing waters of that region. We even found a fly fishing-only lake just barely over the western ridge above Penticton. We camped there for two nights. The first was awesome. The second sucked when a bunch of RV and trailer rigs appeared and did the "Transformer" thing right in front of our little tent. It was almost like having the highway brought to us.

    Contrary to some of the folks here, the wine we found along the Okanagan Valley was pretty darn good. Even the reds. At one vineyard, they were doing meal pairings with their wines. The duck breast was to die for! I just wish I can remember the vineyard. Sorry... Still, with the breath-taking views from some of vineyards, your wife will find the trip quite memorable. All you have to do is get her to allow you one or two days for fishing. And B.C. does like to stock their lakes for quality fish.

    You might consider convincing your wife into a stop-over at Corbett Lake Lodge on the way over to the Okanagan Valley ( from Bellingham. We did that back in the day when Peter McVey ran the joint. Don't know if that's still the case, but I would doubt anyone would allow the place to close when the lake can be very generous to a fly angler. Oh, here's a 2 yr/old blog review of the place: Judge for yourself and decide if this is something you might be able to con your wife into allowing you the indulgence. They have their own boats you can rent out, so that will save or minimize you the hassle of having your own boat along.

    Good luck!
    Fast Action Freddie likes this.
  18. Well, for fixed income wine limit is $10 a bottle.

    I will take any recommendations on $10 and under Pinot. I do like drinking a good Pinot since the alcohol content is usually lower than the big reds.

    At a bottle a night that ends up being a $300/month wine bill and that does not include the wine my wife drinks!! I believe our wine bill exceeds our food bill!

    Having grown up in California during the late 60's I just remember good wine, really cheap. When I did a bicycle tour of Europe in 1976 that was a real disappointment in France. Their cheap wine was not very good.

    Right now we are having fun with Grocery Outlet wines. Buy one and if its good run back and buy a case. I suspect we are not the only ones doing this in Wenatchee.....since when we go back in some cases they are already sold out.

    Anyway, we are getting good at determining the decent wines at Grocery Outlet.

    Ceviche said "Contrary to some of the folks here, the wine we found along the Okanagan Valley was pretty darn good. Even the reds."

    Ok, in three weeks we are having a "blind" wine tasting on our annual fishing trip. I got a couple of "expensive" BC wines suggestions. Will take more...particularly at the lower price point.

    This is all in the interest of science. Living in BC during the early 1970's was tough duty for me....made all the more difficult by the lack of good wine. We will see if 40 years makes a difference.
    Jerry Daschofsky likes this.
  19. That's a great idea. I don't, however, mix wifey with flyfishing. Those worlds just don't collide. Occasionally, she will have some connection to saltwater fishing/crabbing, but most likely that is just the eating part. I am sure that the trip will be good. Neither of us are particularly picky when it comes to wine. The compbination of wine and BC scenery should lead to fun times without the children.

    Go Sox,
    Kent Lufkin likes this.

  20. Funny, my wife is the same way. If she finds a cheap wine she really likes, she buys them up. Especially if it's coming from a small winery.

    But she'd gladly take the blind taste test. She has geographic tongue (can't remember the medical term for it). She has a super intense sense of taste. Every flaw is enhanced. A cheap wine (or should I say cheaply made) will get picked apart fast. She HATED wine up until a couple years ago. Mostly because she only had whites (way too sweet for her) and some cheap reds. She tried a couple homemade reds and fell in love with them. Did some wine tastings and rest is history. She can detect all the notes in a wine. I call her a wine snob now. LOL. When she wine tastes she has certain looks. I can usually tell the cost of the wine by her expression. She had one where I knew it was a $80+ bottle of wine. Yup, you guessed it. $95. But a lot of the wines she likes are in the $20-40 range. She does have a few in the $10-20 range she loves (thank God). Most are made in the Yakima Valley (and come to find out I think a couple out of Walla Walla). I thought she didn't like Walla Walla wines. I heard her wrong. LOL.

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