If you like wine tasting, we found a fabulous small winery in Leavenworth! Technically the winery is located in Peshastin, but it’s only a few minute drive from Leavenworth. Icicle Ridge Winery is a family run winery nestled in the hills between pear orchards and vineyards. We found ourselves there yesterday, on a day when the snow stretched out in a dazzling display under a winter blue sky.
The tasting room is housed in a beautiful log home that was built by hand by the winery’s founder, Lou Wagoner. The logs come from trees right there on his land that he painstakingly fit together, in what five years later, would become a beautiful log home. Lou is a hunter and around the dining room various animals are displayed alongside his hand made furniture. The huge stone fireplace is quite impressive, and, again, made by hand! We were told that in the summer one can sit under tree branches and festive lights and listen as musicians play and people sip their wonderful wines.
The wine making started in their carriage house (otherwise known as the garage) back in 1999 and since has moved to the wine cellar, a 2500 square foot building built into the hillside. Icicle Ridge Winery wine maker Don Wood, was kind enough to show us around and tell us the history of the winery. He is a down to earth friendly man with a love of wine and music. In fact, during the summer music shows, he can often be heard playing his saxophone.
We enjoyed the winter wonderland that surrounded us, but we hope to return during the summer and partake in the warm weather fun, in what is sure to be a gorgeous setting, when the neighboring pear trees have their leaves and the grass is green. Don holds a PhD in chemistry, a background which, I’m sure, has helped bring their success. We tried their White Merlot and found it amazing! We were also very lucky indeed to try their Auxerre white wine directly from the steel vat…don’t worry, we didn’t dip our hands in, there’s a valve at the bottom of the tank that allows you to pour the wine out of a large spout. It was quite a treat for our son to do the honors of turning the large lever. Don has worked with children and has his own and he definitely knows how to involve them in the conversation.
Don mentioned that they do catered events at the log home as well. The caterer is Chef Tim Putnam of Smokeblossom Catering. You can also hold private events at the winery. Icicle Ridge Winery also runs two tasting rooms right in the heart of Leavenworth.
Dubbed IRW UPTOWN, you can find this tasting room at 920 Suite- B2 Front Street.
As soon as you walk in, you feel like you’ve been transported to downtown NYC or possibly Paris or Aspen. Its chic white interior is in extreme juxtaposition to the rustic charm of the winery’s log home tasting room, but just as impressive. Tall-back white leather booths adorned with red throws for those chilly days sit against white walls in which lovely black and white photos of the family and their wine making are displayed. There are white branches covered in white twinkle lights, and sparkly silver peacock feathers mixed in with antlers and clear Christmas-like balls, which all lend to a sophisticated yet outdoorsy feel.
The first thing my eyes were drawn to was their ‘Joy’. Joy is their sparkling wine, and the label is simple and lovely, JOY. I love that you can buy Joy in a bottle. What a great gift!
Leavenworth Wine Tasting
There are three different tasting rooms to explore. The first of which is detailed at the top of this article is the Log Home Winery.
The other tasting rooms are in town and located on Front St. as well. One is located downstairs. You can find it at 821 Suite- B Front Street. This location has a completely different vibe than the other in town. Being below street level, it has a warm cozy feel. There is a large table in which people can sit down to enjoy their wine.
You can also find their street level tasting room at 920 Suite- B2 Front Street. Tastings at both are $10.00.
Please see the Icicle Ridge Winery website for more information.
There are three different wineries in the Leavenworth area. We highly recommend you explore all you have time for after checking out Icicle Ridge. Other popular wineries include Silvara Cellars, Eagle Creek Winery and Wedge Mountain Winery.