Tourists and locals should have an easier time finding wine in Chelan and Douglas counties.
The last of 24 new Wine Country signs directing travelers to local wineries was dedicated Thursday near the Chateau Faire Le Pont Winery in Olds Station.
In all, some 90 Wine Country, specific wine logo and directional signs were planted this year at 35 locations to direct travelers to wineries in Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Peshastin, Leavenworth, Chelan and Manson.
Chelan County Public Works, Chelan County Port District and Douglas County worked with Cascade Valley Wine Country over the past two years to get approval and get the signs made and installed.
"It's been a long time coming, but the timing was right," said Susan Trimpe, Cascade Valley Wine Country director. The organization is the promotional arm for all Chelan and Douglas county wineries and tasting rooms.
Trimpe said several wineries have been urging Chelan County to help them with signing for more than 10 years. Public Works finally got behind the idea after Yakima County began putting up signs and it was clear that wine tourism was becoming an important economic contributor to the region, she said.
Winery owners involved have told Trimpe the signs are already making a huge difference in helping people find wineries that are often in out-of-the-way country locations.
Chelan County now has nearly 65 wineries and/or tasting rooms. Most are in Leavenworth and around Lake Chelan. Douglas County has two: Martin-Scott Winery and Fielding Hills Winery.
The signs direct travelers to 19 local wineries. Wineries involved paid some of the cost of making and installing the attractive, mountain scene signs, along with the port district and the two counties. Some wineries don't want signs because they are only open by appointment, she said. Some wineries didn't want to pay the costl. Other are not eligible because they aren't open regular hours or fulfill other criteria.
For more information about local wineries, check out the Cascade Valley Wine Country website: cascadevalleywinecountry.com. If your winery wants a sign, contact Chelan County Public Works at 667-6415.