Apparently the theme song for my superbowl is Europe’s “The Final Countdown.” Nor do I know if it’s superbowl..or is it super bowl? SuperBowl? Salad Bowl? Anyways, I don’t know why that’s my theme song, but that’s what’s playing in my head. Is there a theme song for the “real” SUpeRbowl? It’s okay for you not to answer that question. I don’t really need to know (ahem…care) if there is actually a theme song for the suPErBOWL.
On Thursday, September something-or-other (it’s been almost a month since we’ve gotten home, I no longer feel I need to be exact with dates) we packed our things and headed out of Winthrop. Destination: Chelan. On the shores of Lake Chelan. Goal? To be there by lunch time so we could have lunch at a winery.
The Lake Chelan Valley is renowned for producing amazing peaches, apples, pears and cherries. Wine grapes were planted in the area over a hundred years ago, but the first production vineyard wasn’t planted until 1998. The first winery, Lake Chelan Winery, was established shortly thereafter in 2000. They bottled their first wine in 2001. They are still going strong today and have been joined by twenty other wineries and over 250 acres of vines.
Do you hear that? It’s the sound of angels singing. Along with Europe.
The drive to Chelan was beautiful and uneventful. We stopped in the little town of Pateros to see where the Methow River dumps into the mighty Columbia River. We took a little detour to Brewster where we stopped for a car wash because the Corolla was embarrassingly filthy after bouncing around the gravel roads in both the North Cascades and Winthrop.
We stopped again at Wells Dam so I could take photos of the Columbia. I love that massive river. Such an absolute beauty.
We arrived in Chelan, as planned, right around lunchtime. Those that know me will be not at all surprised to find out that I had done research ahead of time to find us just the right winery for lunch. And just the right wineries after lunch. And the next day. And that I had a plan.
Actually, the plan was to have lunch at Karma Winery, stop at one more winery, then go to our room. The next day we were to go to one or two wineries, then eat, then go to one or two more. Because I am a lightweight when it comes to wineries. Some pour more generously than others, and the tastes are tasted at a higher rate of speed than I normally drink. Next thing you know, I’m on my lips.
I wanted to avoid the lips part, so the plan was to pace myself. Riiiiiight. You read the part about there being 20 or so wineries in the greater Chelan area, yes?
We enjoyed a very nice lunch at Karma and some nice wine. They are the only producer of sparkling wine in the area, so I sipped a (generous) sampler of three sparklers with my lunch. As I skipped through the parking lot the husband announced that it was the start of LaNae’s SUPER bowl, 2017. The words about made me giddy. LaNae’s Super Bowl 2016 took place at Butchart Gardens. Flowers. Lots and lots of flowers. So, to know that Super Bowl 2017 was in Chelan (lots and lots of wine)??? Bliss!
It was as we were leaving Karma that we decided that, to document my game, a photo of me should be taken at each winery we visited, preferably with the sign.
From Karma we went to Nefarious Cellars. Tasty wine, amazing views.
Now, remember, the plan after two wineries was to call it a day and go check in to our hotel. Best laid plans. Here’s the thing: those wineries are close together. And our hotel sat in the middle of a bunch of them. It was also early-to-mid-afternoon, which seemed a bit early to check in, considering that we had no other plans.
So, we stopped by Tsillan Cellars. Which looks impossible to pronounce, but is somehow pronounced Chelan. Okay. Sure. The tasting room looked like something out of California. It was big. Lots of subdued lighting and dark wood. Not what one would expect in Chelan. We bellied up to the bar and chatted with the friendly winery lady while we tasted. Actually, we shared a taste because it was like $15 (!!), plus the husband had decided that he would serve as my DD.
We bought a bottle…or two…as we had at Nefarious…and returned to the car. Decisions, decisions. First quarter was complete. The husband indicated I was well into second quarter, but with ten football minutes to go (which is like 45 non-football minutes) I decided I had both the time and the where-with-all for one more.
Our last stop for the day was Mellisoni Winery. We paid another $15 for me to taste (though I did get a glass out of it) and wandered out to the lawn overlooking the lake, per the invitation of the winery guy, and pulled up a couple of andirondack chairs. That’s where the serving took place, which was definitely a departure from a normal tasting room experience.
I may have forgotten to mention that I was on a mission: to find a new wine club. At one time, we were members to one wine club, then two, then back to one, then none. We’ve actually not been a part of a club for a number of years. It’s just kind of fun, and I need something to round out the bean club (yes, I’m a member of the Rancho Gordo bean club. It’s amazing).
The minute I tasted the wine at Mellisoni I felt like I had a clear front-runner. Their whites were gorgeous and light, their reds deep and smooth. I was sold. Until I looked at their prices. Go figure that I should fall in love with the winery with the highest price wines in the valley. Yup. Their reds average $50 a bottle. Their whites $30 a bottle. I sipped with love and regret, and bought two bottles when the husband wasn’t looking. Actually, he made the mistake of sending me in to return my glass. Or maybe I offered. I can’t remember. All I know if that I have two bottles of Mellisoni in my wine rack.
After Mellisoni I threw in the towel. I will have you know that I was not on my lips. We had worked our way through the afternoon at a leisurely pace. The husband declared it half time (third quarter to start the next day…a two day Super Bowl!!!!) and we headed to our hotel.
After checking in we wandered down to the lake, drinking in the views and marveling over the fact that we’d never been to Chelan before. We were glad we had remedied that and were looking forward to the next day, the last full day of our grand expedition.