Tsillan Cellars: A Jewel of Lake Chelan A slice of heaven on the souther shores of Lake Chelan in Washington is waiting. BY TOURING & TASTING
Photos courtesy of Tsillan Cellars
Sun or snow Tsillan Cellars is a breathtaking sight to be seen.
“ The exquisite tasting room sets a perfect stage for tasting the exquisite wines.”
Nestled on the gently sloping south shore of Lake Chelan in Washington with breathtaking views of the lake and mountains, Tsillan Cellars is an enchanting slice of Italy. The winery’s name is the original spelling used by the 19th century explorer who charted the lake using the native word, tsillan (she-lahn), for deep waters. It is the crown jewel of the fast-growing Lake Chelan Valley appellation, offering an unsurpassed destination for wonderful wine, food, scenery, and more.
Visitors to this stunning oasis are first greeted by natural beauty. Besides breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains, the impeccably landscaped grounds offer a tapestry of rockeries and gardens connected by natural stone bridges, slate terrazzo, and walks highlighted by Tuscan stone columns, a grape arbor, and a 35-foot bell tower. There are photo opportunities at every turn. But as pleasing as this destination is to the eyes, even greater pleasures await the palate.
Tsillan Cellars sits in a sweet spot on the southern shores of Lake Chelan. Here, the cooling influence of the deep water lake, the gently sloping hills, and the temperate climate nurture an impressive array of wine grapes that yields wines of premium quality. Tsillan Cellars sources all of its grapes from its 40 estate vineyard acres, currently planted to Syrah, Merlot, Malbec, Sangiovese, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Viognier.
This wide variety yields a compelling portfolio of wines that have been awarded more than 200 Gold Medal, Double Gold Medal, Best of Class, and Best of Show awards in major regional, national, and international wine competitions. The 2011 Estate Syrah has swept up numerous top awards, including the San Francisco International Wine Competition, the New World International Wine Competition, and Washington State Wine Competition Governor’s Award for Best Washington Wine. The 2010 Estate Malbec won Double Gold and Best Malbec in the 2013 San Francisco International Wine Competition, and the 2013 Estate Unoaked Chardonnay recently won Double Gold and Best Chardonnay in the Indy Wine Competition. Many other varietals, including the Barbera, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, and Sangiovese, also receive high acclaim.
The tasting room was designed with as much care as the wines, with splendid Italian marble, tile, and hand-carved woodwork. Arriving guests often pause to look around and take it all in—from the open beam truss ceilings made from old train trestle, to the Italian porcelain floors featuring Rosa Verona Marble mosaics. The exquisite tasting room sets a perfect stage for tasting the exquisite wines.
To complete their visit, guests can shop in the gift shop, designated Best Gift Shop by Wine Trails of Washington, and enjoy splendid Italian cuisine at the renowned onsite restaurant. Sorrento’s Ristorante was recently named a winner of OpenTable Diners’ Choice Awards for the Top 100 Scenic View Restaurants of America, and one of The Top 10 Winery Restaurants in the Pacific Northwest by Tasting Room Magazine.
It is evident that Tsillan Cellars’ reputation as the crown jewel of the Lake Chelan Valley AVA is well earned. A visit to the region simply isn’t complete without a leisurely visit on these splendid grounds.
What to Buy '14 Estate Pinot Grigio - $19
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