"Come up and see me sometime"
- Mae West
You will most likely encounter the owners Don and/or Judy Phelps when you visit since they are usually on the premises tending to winemaking and the vineyard. There is plenty of room for picnics so treat yourself to a bottle of our delicious wine while relaxing on the lawn or deck.
OPEN Daily 11 - 6 pm for Wine Tasting/Sales
Our small tasting room needs advance notice for large groups (>6). Please call for a reservation 509-687-3000.
300 Ivan Morse Rd.
You can also purchase and taste our wines at Nectar Tasting Room in Spokane.
Read the story behind our name and more about us below
The heart of Hard Row to Hoe are its owners, Judy and Don Phelps.
Winemaker Judy Phelps has a Master of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Connecticut Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. She retired from her corporate career in research and development at Pfizer, Inc. in 2006. Judy completed the Winemaking Certificate program at the University of California at Davis in July 2006 and is past president of the Lake Chelan Wine Growers Association.
Don, works his magic in the vineyard. He has a Master's Degree in Civil Engineering from Washington State University specializing in water resources and works in his private practice in Chelan. Don is the current President of the Lake Chelan Wine Alliance. Don not only farms the estate vineyards but also works closely with growers of our sourced grapes on the south shore. Don will also tell you that he is 'the labor force' and the one who 'writes the checks'.
If there was ever a Renaissance Man, it has got to be assistant winemaker Rudy Vargas; there is so much more to him than his role of assistant winemaker lets on. You probably know Rudy from behind the tasting room bar where he treats us to his brand of enthusiasm and love of wine. Rudy has attended sommelier training classes, has a Fine Arts degree and brings his artistic sensibility to the tasting room experience.
Don and Judy care deeply about the land and the surrounding watershed of Lake Chelan and are proud to announce that the estate vineyard on Ivan Morse Rd. is the first LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) and Salmon Safe - certified vineyard in North Central Washingon.
Judy and Don purchased the 25-acre vineyard property in Manson on the north shore of Lake Chelan when it was still operating as an apple orchard in 2004. Apple trees were removed from a six-acre piece on a southwest facing hillside to become the vineyard.
The vineyard has been planted and maintained organically using sustainable growing practices. It is entirely sloped to the southwest providing maximum exposure to the sun, excellent air drainage and substantial temperature variation between day and night. The soils here consist of well-drained. low-fertility gravel interspersed with large stones and small boulders, making it truly a hard row to hoe. The vineyard is irrigated with the crystal-clear, glacial waters of Lake Chelan.
2005 was the first year of planting the first two acres of grapes, Cabernet Franc. In 2006 another 2 acres of grapes, Gewurztraminer and Riesling, were planted. In the 2007 growing season Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec went in.
The estate vineyard produces wines of outstanding quality and complexity, owing to its southwest aspect and slope which allows for efficient air drainage. It is a windy site which leads to natural reduced vigor encouraging robust, yet supple tannins. The thick-skinned fruit produces intense color and aromatics. Additionally the high elevation (1400 feet) provides cool nights which allow the grapes hang until well into October / early November without becoming over ripe. To learn more about the Lake Chelan AVA, watch this interview with the soil scientist who helped write the petition for the AVA.
Vineyards on the south shore of Lake Chelan and from the Columbia Valley continue to add value to the overall wine program as the estate matures and comes in to full fruition. Grapes are sourced from Lonesome Springs Ranch (Petit Verdot, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc) , Rosebud (Cinsault), West Hills on the Royal Slope (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) and Doebler Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope for Primitivo and Sangiovese. A north-facing vineyard on south shore of Lake Chelan provides the Pinot Noir for the sparkling wine program. Orange Muscat and Viognier are sourced from Jon Wadkin's vineyard on the south shore.
A new vineyard "Glacial Gravels" was added to the estate in 2013 when 3 acres on Swartout Rd, just a mile from the winery were leased on a long-term basis. Glacial Gravels is situated on a sloping, southfacing bench and is planted with Syrah, Malbec and Pinot Gris. This vineyard typifies the Lake Chelan terrior; the soils here consist of sandy gravels with an abundance of granite bedrock, mica and quartz of glacial origin. The soil here is also influenced by pumice from nearby volcanic eruptions 12,000 or so years ago, providing an ashy component ( unlike other parts of the Columbia Valley). Irrigation comes from the crystal-clear, glacial waters of Lake Chelan. Judy is looking forward to producing terrior-driven wines from this property.