Monday, July 13, 2009

Wine Roads Lead to Chelan

The hillsides surrounding Joel's hometown, Chelan, in Central Washington were once covered with orchards. In the last decade vineyards have replaced fruit trees and the town at the foot of the 55-mile glacier-created lake is quickly becoming one of Washington State's favorite wine destinations. We had one of the best meals we've eaten in a long time while sitting in the shaded patio at Karma Vineyards on the lake's south shore. Karma Kafe offers a seasonally-changing selection of small, medium and big bites. Their salmon big-bite ($19) was done to melt-in-your-mouth perfection. Save room for the saute'ed strawberry sundae ($7). Summer hours noon - 8 p.m. Tuesday - Sunday; http://goodkarmawines.com

Check out the new tasting room at Benson Vineyards Estate Winery on the lake's northshore. Located high on the hillside between Chelan and Manson, the balcony off the tasting rooms offers sweeping views. It was a great place for a late afternoon glass of wine and photography. www.bensonvenyards.com

And we are watching for the new hotel opening at B.C. MacDonald's. Luxury suites with wrought-iron balconies are being completed above the ale house of the same name, just across the street from Campbell's Resort in downtown Chelan

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