CASHMERE — Voilà! Vineyards opened its doors to the public only this summer, but Doug and Stacee Snider’s dream first took root more than a decade ago.
Located on Kimber Road near the Chelan County Expo Center in Cashmere, Voilà! — that’s French for “behold” or “there it is” — is North Central Washington’s newest winery. And at somewhere around 200 cases of production this year, one of the smallest. Doug Snider said annual production will grow along with the output of the 3 acres of vineyard he started planting in 2001. He expects to top out at about 750 cases in a few years.
Most of the 3,000 vines have been planted in the last five years. Gewurztraminer, cabernet franc and pinot noir are the varieties Snider thought best suited to the property and Cashmere climate.
The Sniders built a glitzy tasting room inside the warehouse where the wine is made from grapes they grow or buy from Columbia Valley vineyards. They plan to expand a rear patio and crushpad for wine events. Three vacation rentals are also on the property for those who want to linger awhile.
Wines available include the fruity, off-dry Gerwurztraminer, Rose Ambrosia made from pinot noir grapes, 2010 Pinot Noir and 2010 Cashmere Red, a full-bodied blend of syrah, pinot noir and cabernet franc. The wines are sold at the winery and at Martin’s Market in Cashmere.
Doug is also experimenting with fruit wines. The slightly summer sweet pear wine seems a perfect choice for the Wenatchee River Valley, the nation’s largest producer of winter pears. He has a bing cherry wine fermenting now that will be available next year.
Displays of camo-colored hunting packs may seem an odd juxtaposition in the attractive glass and twisted juniper decorated tasting room, but it has everything to do with what made the winery possible.
The Snider’s other business is Nimrod Pack Systems, Inc. The company produces packs, backcountry gear and clothing for hunters and professional firefighters.
“Nimrod has been very good to us. It enabled us to raise our family,” said Doug. And voilà! — start a dream winery.
Rick Steigmeyer is a Wenatchee World reporter and blogger. This story originally appeared in his Winemaker’s Journal blog on this website.