Live the Dream in Lake Chelan
NEFARIOUS CELLARS, LAKE CHELAN
If you’ve ever daydreamed your way out of a staff meeting and into a sun-drenched afternoon in wine country, the image in your head probably looked a lot like Nefarious Cellars. Topping a vine-bedecked hill overlooking sparkling Lake Chelan, the tasting room buzzes with hotspot energy but is unadorned with the tourist-trap bric-a-brac you’ll find at neighboring wineries—lest homemade jam and souvenir stemware distract from the wine itself.
Of course, no picture-perfect winery experience is complete without a backstory: Nefarious is run by a cute young couple—she (Heather Neff) is in charge of white wines, he (Dean Neff) makes the reds—who returned to their native Chelan after learning the way of the vine in Oregon. When you go, start by tasting Heather’s whites—her off-dry riesling (made with fruit from the Stone’s Throw Vineyard) her crisp, drinkable viognier. Then move on to Dean’s reds—an estate-grown syrah, a tasty cab made with fruit from Riverbend Vineyard in the Wahluke Slope. Before you leave, wander out to the deck to take in the lake and offer up a pet or two to Lucy, the golden retriever who greets guests sweetly as they enter and leave this little plot of paradise. 495 South Lakeshore Rd, Chelan, 509-682-9505; nefariouscellars.com
WHEN TO GO Visit the tasting room from April through October, hours vary depending on the season.
WHILE YOU’RE THERE If you’re looking for lunch, head to the opposite shore of Lake Chelan. The bistro at Vin du Lac winery has panini, pureed soups, and salads, plus more jaw-dropping views of the water.