A trip to Lake Chelan requires a minimum of a few winery stops. The climate is great for grape growing and the area is therefore swimming them; exponentially over the past few years. However, it has not always been that way, and there are some true local/organic startups out there, which brings me to Vin du Lac.
On a recent trip to Chelan I reached out to a few wineries that I was interested in, Vin du Lac being one of them. The owner and winemaker himself actually responded to me and offered to meet with me in-person. I was thrilled! I think the best part of wine tasting is learning the story behind the winery, the passion that went into the vineyards, the vision for the tasting room, the family that was raised there, and that was the exact story I was able to get from Larry Lehmbecker, the owner of Vin du Lac.
Larry’s hospitality was amazing, offering to meet me on-site on a weekend evening to tour the whole Vin du Lac property. There were some really interesting facts I learned right of the bat:
For one, I was intrigued to find out that Vin du Lac was one of the first wineries in Lake Chelan! I think this was so interesting to me as I have only known the Chelan wine country as one exploding with tasting rooms, but Vin du Lac was one of the originators back in 2002. Larry did say the industry is friendly and people support each other, but tasting rooms are popping up so quickly these days that it can be hard to keep up! I feel like that sentiment is true for the Washington wine industry as a whole, as I have seen also both Leavenworth and Woodinville exploding with tasting rooms faster than I can count in the past few years as well.
The other interesting thing I learned was about their restaurant – I knew they had one on-site, but that was as far as my knowledge reached. What I discovered is that Larry is striving to create a farm-to-table experience for his guests, keeping everything local and sustainable, and he was kind enough to give us a tour of their gardens sitting just on the hill above the tasting room. There were greens galore, berries, tomatoes, squashes, and so on… even a chicken coop full of hens laying eggs. Larry’s son joined us for our tour and was having fun picking and offering Vivienne (our eldest) tastes of produce fresh from the garden.
Now, on to the winery! Vin du Lac is a true winery, growing their grapes right there in the Chelan area. I say a ‘true’ winery meaning not just someone blending their own grape varietals (which is very in right now), but a winery that sees the whole process from start to finish with their grapes and wines. Larry spends most his time in Chelan overseeing the process, and there are even grapes growing right outside the tasting room that will be harvested for their wines, which Larry’s son was picking and offering us. “Dad, is it okay if I eat these muscats?”, I pretty much almost died when I heard those words… can I go back in time and grow up as a winery kid? What a fun way to be raised.
In regards to his whites, I found them all extremely enjoyable. The whites were right up my alley – floral, fruity, and not overly sweet. The Viognier was my favorite out of the bunch, and my husband really enjoyed the Cuvee Blanc. I absolutely LOVED their Rose, and Larry and I had a discussion about how it was a long underappreciated wine. On to reds and I thought they were all fantastic, but the Syrah was especially bold and really called to my pallet. Obviously I couldn’t just pick one, so several bottles were brought home for the wine rack to save and savor another time.
While visiting, we also had the opportunity to check out the winery in full swing for entertainment on the lawn. There was a band playing, kids running and playing in the grass, and I was lounged back in a lawn chair taking it all in along with the fantastic view. I had the baked brie for an appetizer and LOVED it, there was obviously some kind of homemade jam on top as it was extra spicy with cinnamon and cloves and was quite enjoyable.
In all, I loved my visit to Vin du Lac and found that there were many things to enjoy about the winery. The venue is great. It is absolutely the kind of home-grown business I want to support as they work hard to support their local economy too. They are one of the more mature wineries in Chelan and their wines support that. And of course, their lineup of fantastic wines is something to love alone!
Thank you so much to Vin du Lac especially Larry for hosting us with such fantastic hospitality!
Thank you for reading! Have you ever tried Vin du Lac winery yourself? If not, do you now plan to go? I would love to hear about your experience!
X.O. – Abbey Co.
P.S. – There are some things I really like to bring with me when I wine taste. One of them is a wine journal – have you ever seen one of these? I think it is a great idea because in the moment I will LOVE something, but if you taste other wines it is hard to retain that memory and flavor, other than the thought of it being good. I also think it is fun to have a little diary of all the wineries you visit over the years!
Also, do you have a wine spiller in the group? This “Wine Away” spray seriously works!! I keep one in my bag when we go out tasting, and also have one at home I use for entertaining to get spills out of carpet.
Wine Away Red Wine Stain Remover – Perfect Fabric Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner Spray Solution – Removes Wine Spots – Spray and Wash Laundry to Vanish Stain – Wine Out – Zero Odor – 12 Ounce, 2 Pack
Lastly, if you don’t know a lot about wine tasting and food pairings but are interested in learning more, I think this book is actually a pretty interesting read!
Abbey Co. Seattle is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. I am not sponsored by any of these products, but am bringing you info on how to purchase them because I LOVE THEM!!!