A Clear Victor

I will reveal to you now that I was the victor of LaNae’s 2017 Supah-Bowl.  Would you expect a different outcome?  I am looking forward to Supah-Bowl 2018.  I have no idea when (or where) it will occur, but I’m willing to be it will be a fantastic game.

The last day of our vacation started with a pretty lazy morning.  Even I can’t drink wine at 9 am.  Unless it’s sparkly and in a mimosa.  But not red.  After we got up and around we headed into town to look around and find the husband some coffee.

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Coffee acquired, we wandered down to the lake and took a stroll.  It was a beautiful fall morning.  Warm enough to be in shorts, with enough of a chill in the air to make everything feel fresh.

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After our walk we headed to Manson, a small community on the opposite side of the lake from where we were staying.  Why Manson?  Well, because Manson is full of wineries.

We took our time, wandering through the countryside to take in the sites.  It was September, after all.  The apple trees were loaded.  The grapevines were loaded (though covered with netting to keep the birds out, so I don’t have one single shot of a vine with gorgeous grapes).  It was a gorgeous time to be in Chelan.

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One thing I will tell you is that if you stop your car on a country lane to shoot photos of apples there is a good chance that a farmer will stare at you.  I can understand why.  The orchards are littered with signs that warn you not to trespass and not to pick the fruit.  Do you know how hard it is not to reach out and pick just one apple from a tree filled with hundreds?  Possibly thousands?  They smell amazing, they look gorgeous and my hands were twitching to just…pick….one.

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But, I didn’t.  Because I suspect that enforcement may be at the hands of farmers…and their guns.  We were delighted to stumble across a road-side stand full of bags of freshly picked honey-crisp apples.  I crammed my $5 into the honor system box on the table and selected “the” bag.  In hindsight, I should have bought two or three bags.  They were amazing.  Best honey-crisps I’ve ever eaten.

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We had a sandwich at a small shop in Manson.  Something to help suck down the wine we were about to drink, but not anything to heavy as the last winery we intended to stop at offered BBQ on Friday and Saturday nights.  Wine and BBQ?  You had me at wine.  No, you had me at BBQ.  No…you had me at wine and BBQ.

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First stop:  Wapato Point Cellars.  They were on my list.  Not high on the list.  Mid-low.  Which, after tasting, is where they shall stay.  Nice young man in the tasting room…but he knew about as much about their wine as we did (which we learned as we read the tasting notes).  Nonetheless…obligatory photo:

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Next:  Vin Du Lac Winery.  Sat at a nice little table overlooking the lake.  The wine was pretty good, but, like Wapato Point, not purchase-worthy.  I had gotten quite spoiled the day before by the quality of wines at Nefarious, Tsillan and Mellisoni.  Or, perhaps I was actually listening to the voice of reason (the husband), who reminded me that morning that we didn’t have to buy wine at every single winery we went to.

I don’t seem to have a photo of me at Vin Du Lac.  Hmmmm….well, how about a photo of what we drank and what we looked at?

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We wound through the countryside a bit more, then went to Benson Vineyards Estate Winery.  I’m calling it by it’s full name because it is worthy of that title.  It is an estate.  And an impressive one.  Benson sits high above the lake.  The tasting room is large.  That is, the tasting room that was open.  They actually have two.  One sits down below on the edge of a large patio.  I would imagine it is a mad house in the summer.

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We started with their viognier…and looked at each other with wide eyes.  It was sweeter than many viogniers, but was luscious and tasty.  I tried their rose.  Yum.  We moved onto reds.  Yum.  Yum.  Yum.  We engaged the wine room guy in some conversation about the winery as we sipped and enjoyed.

After tasting, we wandered down to the patio and looked around a bit before agreeing that we’d like to sit and enjoy a glass of wine.  The views were as delicious as the wine.  We suspected we may have found our wine club.  The prices were right.  The wine tasty.  Sign us up!

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We returned to the tasting room and I went out on the balcony to secure us a table while the husband bought us each a glass.  He had instructions to obtain a brochure about their wine club, but showed up only with the wine.  “They don’t have a club!” He proclaimed.  No wine club???  How is that possible?  Everyone and their brother has a wine club!  That’s crazy!  Or, is it?  You can buy their wine online.  And, they offer discounts depending upon how much you purchase.  Something that most wineries only do if you’re a part of their wine club.  We sipped and I sighed.  Foiled, again.

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After Benson we headed to Lake Chelan Winery.  The first winery in Chelan, this is the one that started it all.  The tasting room, which is actually part of a large gift-store feeling room full of their wine, a cheese counter and lots of pickled goods sold under the Lake Chelan Winery, was busy.  The tasting was free, but chintzy.  We discovered that Washington Gold hard cider is produced at the same site, but, unfortunately, their tasting room was closed that day.

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After finishing tasting we stepped out back to the BBQ area.  It was early, just around 5 pm, and rain showers were dampening…well…everything.  We elected to sit inside the tent rather than out, and helped ourselves to the serve yourself cornbread station.  You read that right.  And it was good cornbread, too.  We shared a platter of baby back ribs and grilled chicken.  The meat was tender and smoky, the sides tasty.  Finger lickin’ good.

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From there we rolled ourselves back to the car and made our way around the lake to our hotel.  The wind had kicked up, but the rain showers had brought clouds that made for an exquisite sunset, so we walked down to the lake for a few last photos.  It was the end of another very good vacation.  The next day we headed home, stopping here and there along the way…reluctant to let the vacation vibes go.

The end.

Right?

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Well, not quite.  First, I think I owe you a wine count.  Right?  What happens when you visit wineries from the North Cascades to Chelan?  You acquire.  You pick up a bottle here, a bottle there, and it all gets stashed in the trunk with little accounting.  After we unpacked everything I lined the bottles up on the dining room table.  The husband came in and his eyes goggled.  14 bottles was too much?  I think not.

Second, did we find a wine club?  We did.  Remember Lost River Winery?  Clear back in Winthrop?  We really liked their wine and have now joined their club.  I prefer not to think of them as third runner up (behind the too expensive Mellisoni and no-club Benson).  Instead, I like to think of them as the first place we really liked and, therefore, the clear front-runner from the very beginning.

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