Tunnel Hill Winery
 

The Vineyards

From grapes to wine...

 

Estate Vineyards

The grapes for our flagship wines—Riesling, Syrah, and Pinot Noir—come from 7 acres of vineyards that were planted starting in 2001 on our family land on the south shore of Lake Chelan.  In particular, our Pinot Noir, planted in clone 113 is a statement piece of Tunnel Hill wines exhibiting a distinctly earthy, spicy style of this classic Burgundian wine. We planted an additional acre of Viognier in 2012 and have been making an Estate wine from it since 2014. In 2013 we added a small plot of Malbec and released our first Estate wines from those grapes with our 2015 vintage. All in all we currently use approximately 90% of our own fruit for our wine production and hope to increase that percentage with the planting of Cabernet Sauvignon in 2018. 

 
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Lake Chelan AVA

In 2009 Lake Chelan became the 11th AVA in Washington State. A designation within the borders of the larger Columbia Valley AVA, the The Lake Chelan AVA is distinguished by a significant "lake effect" that a creates mild and favorable temperature for surrounding areas. As a result vineyards within the AVA have a longer growing season and reduced risk of frost despite our higher elevation and generally cooler climate. The Lake Chelan Valley is currently home to over 28 wineries.

Other Vineyards

While we are approximately 90% Estate grown in our offerings we have expanded our wine selections over the years by sourcing grapes from the some of our neighbors in the Lake Chelan AVA as well as vineyards in the Columbia Valley AVA, Wahluke Slope AVA and Yakima Valley.  

Our 2012, 2013 and 2014 Malbecs were sourced from Antoine Creek Vineyards, which is located just outside the Chelan Valley on the banks of the Columbia River -- a 20 minute drive from Tunnel Hill. This vineyard also produced the Viognier that went made up our first vintage of Viognier (2011). 

 

 Columbia Valley AVA

Columbia Valley AVA

While our vineyards supply us with enough Riesling to embrace a couple different styles from our dry, crisp Estate Riesling to our decadent Late Harvest Riesling, one of our best sellers is our white blend, Camino. Approximately, 50/50 Riesling and Gewurztraminer in any given year we have sourced began this blend from juice sourced from our neighbors at Tsillan Cellars. The spiciness of the Gewurz and the long soft finish proves an wonderful combination with the bright, crisp fruit of our Estate Riesling. In 2016 we switched vineyards and obtained some lovely Gewurztraminer from Cave B in 2016. This fruit hails from one of their oldest plantings and is part of the Ancient Lakes AVA.  

 Dry Lake Vineyards - Manson, WA

Dry Lake Vineyards - Manson, WA

Over the years we have sourced small amounts of Syrah and Viognier from our neighbors across the road at Nefarious Cellars. This allowed us to meet the demand of our customers while we waiting for our Estate vineyards to come into full production. Our 2012 and 2013 Viogniers were sourced from this vineyard which is located directly across the street from our own Viognier grapes now in production. You can find small amounts of their Defiance Block Syrah mixed into our Sacrilege blend and the 2012 and 2013 Syrah. 

In 2015 we sourced some delectable Merlot from Dry Lake Vineyards in Manson. A breezy site with a sunny west facing slope and poignant view of Dry Lake below. Lean, vibrant and full of spice, look for this fruit to make up a hearty portion of our yet to be released 2015 Setenta. 

We have also sourced grapes from further south, where warmer climates add intensity to the reds grown. Our Cab Sauv and Merlot (used in our are Setenta) sourced from Lonesome Spring Ranch located in the warm, well-drained Rattlesnake Mountain Bench near Benton City. Zinfandel from StoneTree Vineyard on the sunny Wahluke Slope has made an appearance as a stand alone varietal in 2010 and as a component of our famed Setenta.