WHISK YOUR SWEETHEART OFF ON A ROMANTIC GETAWAY to Chelan, Washington, for its Red Wine and Chocolate weekend. Lake Chelan Wine Alliance hosts the annual event (this year, February 10–11 and February 17–18, 2018) where nearly 30 wineries plan special tastings and pair their wines with delectable chocolate treats.
Snuggle up at night in a cozy lakeside hotel room, then spend the days tasting your way through the communities of Chelan and Manson. Sip and savor while relishing views of fjord-like Lake Chelan surrounded by snow-dusted Cascade Mountain peaks. Here is a sampling of what’s in store:
Cairdeas Winery (cairdeaswinery.com) will serve flights of their Rhône-inspired varietals, including a petite sirah port paired with French-style chocolate truffles created specifically to complement that wine. Afterward, gather around the blazing patio fire pit and enjoy gourmet s’mores made with Theo chocolate bars.
Ancestry Cellars (ancestrycellars.com) will be serving a full flight of wines, including a white matched with hand-crafted confections from Judy’s Chocolate Shop in Manson.
At Fielding Hills Winery (fieldinghills.com), choose between a Signature Tasting of premium red wines or a Chocolate Flight of library reserve wines, each paired with handmade chocolates created by Belgian-born local chocolatier, Anne Goblet.
Visit Lake Chelan Winery (lakechelanwinery.com) for a complimentary tasting. Dip fruit and marshmallows into the dripping decadence of their Belgian chocolate fondue fountain. Browse the 3,000-square-foot gift shop and nibble a sample at the Lake Chelan Cheese shop, located in the winery.
If you’re into simplicity, check out One Wines Inc. (onewinesinc.com), where their goal is to produce the best single red, rose and white wine from their vineyard each year. This fledgling winery, producing only about 600 cases annually, will pair their One Red, One Rose, and One White wines with multiple candies and chocolates.
Journey to Rio Vista Wines (riovistawines.com), located on the Columbia River. Relax by the fireplace and sample award-winning wines along with Washington-made chocolates. An outdoor bonfire and sledding for children can make this a fun family outing.
Siren Song Vineyard Estate and Winery (sirensongwines.com) will lure visitors with luscious pairings such as a 2014 Petit Verdot paired with crystallized ginger and rosemary spiced dark chocolate and 2014 Jolie (cab franc/malbec/ merlot) served with balsamic-glazed, sea-salted pecans dipped in dark chocolate. Stop here for lunch and try artisan pizza or other Mediterranean-inspired dishes designed to complement their wines.
Don’t miss WineGirl Wines (winegirlwines.com), where their reds will accompany truffles, mendiants and chocolate salted caramels. You must try the Port Shots – a delicate chocolate cup filled with their Tinta Roriz Port-style wine.
Wrap up your day at either Tsillan Cellars (tsillancellars.com) or Wapato Point Cellars (wapatopointcellars.com). Enjoy a tasting, then stay for dinner. At Tsillan Cellars’ Sorrento’s Ristorante, the Italian-inspired décor, panoramic lake views and fireplace set the scene for a memorable evening.
After sampling handmade chocolate bark paired with Wapato Point Cellars’ wines, adjourn to their Winemaker’s Grill and order from the fresh sheet menu to go with a bottle of your favorite from the tasting room.
For event details and information on these and other area wineries, visit lakechelanwinevalley.com. Visitor information including lodging, dining and limousine services can be found at lakechelan.com.