Reflections of last week’s Red Wine and Chocolate – And Sunshine.

Reflections of last week’s Red Wine and Chocolate – And Sunshine.

Tony Rose | Lake Chelan Newspaper
Last Saturday (Feb. 19) I got the chance to visit several of the local area wineries during the Red Wine and Chocolate event. It was a perfect day of sunshine, smiling faces, and lots of visitors and locals alike enjoying the festival.

Here is a short run down if the wineries we were able to get to and what some of the thoughts were from each of the owners and some of the visitors.

Hard Row To Hoe Winery.

Hard Row to Hoe is a small boutique winery on the north shore of Lake Chelan in picturesque Manson, Washington. Our southwest facing vineyard looks out over the lake and the peaks of the North Cascade Mountains which provide the clear, glacial water to irrigate our vines.

I caught Don Phelps outside on the deck at Hard Row to Hoe winery as he was taking in the sunshine and enjoying the visitors who were there tasting their award winning wines.  The patrons were enjoying the sunshine in an outside setting on a truly beautiful day. Don said “it was great to see everyone coming out and participating in this annual event”. This is the kickoff of the wine tasting and tourism season for the Lake Chelan Wineries.

The heart of Hard Row to Hoe are its owners, Judy and Don Phelps.

Don, who manages the vineyard, has a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Washington State University specializing in water resources and works in his private practice in Chelan. Don is a Board member for the Columbia Cascade Winery Association.

Winemaker Judy Phelps has a Master of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Connecticut Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. She retired from her corporate career in research and development at Pfizer, Inc. in 2006. Judy completed the Winemaking Certificate program at the University of California at Davis in July 2006. She is a past President of the Lake Chelan Wine Grape Growers association and still sits on the Board for that organization.

Read More On Their Web Site


Lake Chelan Winery, Wapato Point Cellars

Located in the last privately owned apple packing shed in the valley, just 5.5 miles from Chelan on the way to Manson, Lake Chelan Winery is the pioneer of the Lake Chelan Valley wine industry

The winery was buzzing with patrons enjoying their award winning wines as well, with many of them browsing their expansive gift shop.

They were also offering barrel tasting as well, and it was interesting to listen as the tasters went back and forth as to which sample they liked the best. As it turned out they were both the same wine, but had slight differences from one to the other.


Steve and Bobbi Kludt are the owners of Lake Chelan Winery and Wapato Point Cellars.

The Kludts obtained the first commercial state winery license in Chelan County on Sept. 12, 2000, a month before Warren Moyles got his license for La Toscana Bed & Breakfast & Winery in Dryden.

The Kludts harvested their first grapes in 2001 and bottled their first wine, from grapes outside the area that same year.

They had started a bedding plant and tree nursery and fruit stand in the old Harding apple packing shed off the Chelan-Manson Highway at Winesap Road, and they converted it into Lake Chelan Winery, opening in August 2002. They believe it to be the first commercial winery in the Chelan Valley in modern times.

Visit Their Web Site For More Information.


Chelan Ridge Winery

One of the newest wineries to take center stage this year has to be the Chelan Ridge Winery.

Opening in late 2010, and located on a Ridge on the Northshore of Lake Chelan approximately six miles up the Northshore road from Chelan is the Chelan Ridge Winery. Very visible as you look to your right on the ridge it is quickly becoming another must stop destination winery in the Lake Chelan Valley.

It was a great day as the wine visitors were arriving almost nonstop all day to enjoy the great wines, chocolates, great view of Lake Chelan, and interesting conversation. It was obvious that a great time was being had by all, and a return trip was in the future of the patrons.



Owned and operated by Henry and Lynn Munneke, the Chelan Ridge Winery is a dream that is finally coming true. Hard work and perseverance have made this dream a reality, and we are happy to see them added to the growing list of quality wineries in the Lake Chelan Valley

Henry keeps main construction and so called heavy lifting of the winery going. Lynne is the winemaker and is very excited about the wines that are being produced at their winery. I wil have their complete story and pictures of their facility from a special tour Henry treated me to. You will also get insight into their future plans. Stay tuned for this story coming soon.

You may contact Chelan Ridge Winery for more information.


Henry and Lynn Munneke
900 Swartout Road, Manson, WA 98831
(509) 687-4455
Please call to confirm grand opening and hours/days of operation.





Tsillan Cellars Winery

Wine tasters were lined up three deep at the Tsillan Cellars Winery on Saturday as they were all getting a taste of the great wine and chocolates being provided during the Red Wine and Chocolate event.

Tsillan Cellars also released their newest wine during this event, Sempre Amore
Sempre Amore
Wishes you “Love Always” in Italian. This Gorgeous white wine is blended with love and for love from the best of Tsillan Cellars Estate white grapes.

Tsillan Cellars Owner: Dr. Bob Jankelson

Dr. Bob Jankelson is an internationally recognized dental clinician, clinical researcher, educator and author. Dr. Jankelson collaborated with his father, Dr. Bernard Jankelson, to develop advanced technology and treatment procedures for diagnosis and treatment of head and neck musculoskeletal disorders.

Dr. Jankelson retired from active practice in 1991, moved permanently to Chelan in 1994 while continuing to teach throughout the world. Thousands of Puget Sound residents have grown up with annual vacations to the shores of Lake Chelan. The legendary summer sun and long summer days with cool nights are ideal for growing tree fruits such as apples and cherries. When these orchards became economically distressed Dr. Jankelson searched for options to preserve the agricultural heritage of the Chelan Valley. A large lake, gently sloping land and lake breezes to temper climatic extremes suggested a rewarding viticulture adventure. Thus, the beautiful Tsillan Cellars Winery and surrounding vineyards arose.

Tsillan Cellars Winery & Vineyards is the crown jewel of the youthful, vibrant and rapidly growing Lake Chelan wine tourism scene. Tsillan Cellars, an Italian country retreat recreated on the gently sloping shores of deep water Lake Chelan offers a destination experience unique in the entire country.

Three waterfalls form an amphitheater backdrop for the island stage. Natural stone bridges, natural slate terrazzos and walks, Tuscan stone columns, a 35 foot bell tower with a 650 lb. cast bronze bell, landscaped rockeries and gardens overlook Lake Chelan and the Cascade Mountains.

The 135 acre estate, with 36 acres dedicated to our vineyards, is well on its way to receiving national recognition. The attention to the finest viticulture techniques has already produced numerous award-winning wines and a growing acceptance among wine connoisseurs.

Visit Our Web Site For More Information

Related Stories:

Tsillan Cellars Winery releases new wine during the Red Wine and Chocolate Event in Lake Chelan.

Red Wine & Chocolate February 12-13 and 19-20, 2011

Wine And Chocolate Pairing Tips

Research Shows Wine, Chocolate & Tea Improve Brain Performance