We live in a wonderful place, folks. A place where it’s more unusual to find a restaurant that is not farm-to-table than one that is. A place where normal wine tastings at local vineyards are cool, but happen so frequently and at so many places that you gotta do something crazy to stand out.
Yup – wineries adding extra perks to their tastings to get people to come visit them as if the wine itself wasn’t enough. Like I said – we’re lucky over here people.
So I thought it would be fun to round up some of the more unique ways you can wine taste in our great state. Did I miss any? Shoot us a note and we’ll do a second post!
Snowshoe Wine Tour
Starting in January, Icicle Ridge Winery in Peshastin, WA offers a “Winter Walk Thru The Vineyards”. It’s $75 a person and includes one evening walk through the vineyard, three-course dinner, and wine pairings. Guests put on snowshoes and start the trek through a tiki torch lit trail and then end up in a warm log home where you sip hot spiced wine by a roaring fire. SWOON.
Helicopter Wine Tour
This is as AMAZING as it sounds. Dale from Lake Chelan Helicopters picked us up from Tsillan Cellars and flew us around the Cascade Valley, with stops at Rio Vista on the River, Lake Chelan Winery and Chelan Estate Winery. The chopper fits three in addition to Dale, who is a wealth of knowledge about the area and a talented flier. I was super nervous to go up, but a couple jokes from Dale (“Don’t worry, I’ve been flying for a week!) made me feel a lot better. And once we were up in the air….everything was gravy. Chopper tours are $545+ and Dale can pick you up from a variety of locations.
Ok, so you don’t necessarily zip from winery to winery (although that would be AWESOME), but snuggled right in the vicinity of Cascade Valley wine country is Leavenworth Zip Lines at Mountain Springs Lodge. They have nine zip lines and a crazy hilarious safe (shout out to our guide Nay Nay), and who is to say that you don’t go there right after tasting at a winery…if you know what I mean. Tours are $75+, and you can do five or nine lines.
Sea Plane Winery Tour
This is the only seaplane winery tour in Washington state, ‘nuff said. The round trip tasting tour on the Columbia Rivers takes place on a Dehavilland Beaver floatplane, and heads to Rio Vista Winery and back. Tours have to be scheduled in advance and are $79.99 a person.
Nothing adds a little special something to a tasting than having a pup around to cuddle! Or maybe that’s just the dog person in me talking. There are the adorable Merlot and Bordeaux at Chateau Faire Le Point Winery, Susie at Wedge Mt. Winery, Sunny at Boudreaux Cellars, and Usi, Franzen and Gunther of Nashi Orchards. Winery (or in Nashi’s case, Cidery) Dogs are becoming a thing – and we couldn't be happier about it.
While a tractor may be no helicopter, there is a certain romance in traipsing through vineyards and orchards in an old blue tractor, right? You can experience this at Wedge Mountain Winery, where husband and wife team Charlie and Mary Ann McKee will take great care of you. Heck – I walked out of these with a delicious Lemberger and a box of hand-picked Red Delicious apples!
Washington is quickly becoming a hotspot for wineries, and while we are still in our infancy, the Cascade Valley/Chelan County region is a really exciting one for wine enthusiasts. Check out our profiles of the region, and we'll continue covering news out of the Valley until people get sick of wine (Ha!)