One of the best things about the Lake Chelan Valley is there are truly four seasons; Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Each season is noticeably distinguished throughout the year, unlike some other areas around the state. Lively green hills and wildflowers in the spring. Consistent 90-degree days and blue sky in the summer. Vibrant colors and a crispness in the air in the fall. And cold, snowy winters. Every season is worth experiencing, especially at Tsillan Cellars.
It’s the season of new beginnings and growth. Literally. In the spring, the grape vines are coming back to life. After being dormant all winter they are finally starting to show signs of life again. Small buds will start to break through the shoots on each vine, slowly adding color back to the vineyard. The vines aren’t the only thing awakening after the long winter. If you head out to the island and its surrounding pond and waterfalls, you will notice the koi have returned to swimming their regular laps around the pond and of course begging for food from anyone that walks by. After not eating for four months you can bet, they’re hungry!
If anyone has been to Chelan, it has most likely been during the summer months. It’s the time for boating, swimming, and camping. But it is also the perfect time to grab a glass of rose’ and head for the patio. During the summer at the winery, you will find most people sitting under the misters or under the umbrella by the koi pond sipping on a glass of Nudo Chardonnay or Pinot. One place at Tsillan Cellars that many visitors don’t discover is the Upper Terrazzo. This is by the far the best spot to cool down, relax, and sip on a glass of wine. If you head across the wooden bridge that crosses over the waterfall, and head up the stone path, it will lead you to a beautiful slate stone patio with a grapevine covered trellis. By mid-August, take a peek at the grapes growing on the trellis, they might just be ready to be harvested. Go head, pick some and give them a try!
Once summer has ended and the lake starts to quiet down, the vineyards and orchards start their busiest time of the year. If you head up the driveway at the winery you might notice our vineyard crew working between the rows of vines to pick as many clusters of grapes as they can so the one-ton bins can be filled up and taken to the crush pad. Harvest is when you truly get to see what goes on behind the scenes at a winery. If you want an up-close look, head up to the crush pad and watch our Winemaker and Production Crew hard at work. Working 14-15-hour days during harvest is the norm and it lasts for around 3 months. Towards the end of fall, the leaves on the vines begin to turn from a vibrant yellow to orange. It is truly astounding to see such vibrant colors in contrast with the lake and mountains in the background. However, it only lasts for a couple of weeks before the leaves begin to fall.
This is the time of year where things start to slow down. The temperatures drop and the snow begins to fall. Even though it may not be warm enough to sit out on the patio, the tasting room offers the perfect cozy atmosphere to enjoy a glass of wine by the fireplace. You might even get the entire tasting room to yourself on a quiet weekday afternoon. From the leather couch in front of the fireplace, you can look out the glass doors and watch the snow fall on the patio. Nothing is more peaceful and memorizing during the winter months. By the time February rolls around, take notice when you drive past the vineyard. You may see our vineyard crew pruning the vines in preparation for spring.