Celebrating the award-winning wines of Spokane’s long-standing winery
By Jillian Chandler
Established in 1982 by husband and wife Mike and Ellena Conway, Latah Creek Wine Cellars has been pouring excellence into each glass and continues to bring affordable, award-winning wines to the Inland Northwest. Joined by their daughter Natalie Barnes, they are continuing that mission 39 harvests later.
Wine lovers have continued to enjoy sipping wines while visiting with friends and neighbors in the beautifully remodeled tasting room and gift shop at Latah Creek Wine Cellars in Spokane Valley, Washington. The open space, which can comfortably accommodate patrons and easily adhere to social distancing rules, has become a gathering place to relax and taste. As winemaker Natalie says, “We love that people can have a wonderful place to sit and sip our wine, while being able to see all of our fabulous gifts at the same time.”
Currently at the winery, you will find nearly 20 wines that are available for tasting, by the glass or bottle purchase. They are excited to once again be offering wine tastings, in which you can enjoy five tastes of your choice for just $5! The new assortment of recently released wines is just another reason to stop by the winery.
“We have a few 2020 vintage wines that we are so excited for!” shares Natalie. Latah Creek’s Orange Moscato was released in January after their one-year supply sold out in less than eight months. They released their small-lot 2020 Chenin Blanc the end of March, which was followed by their Gold Medal winning 2019 Pinot Gris in April.
“One of the most anticipated releases was our Sangria, which was released on May 1. This is a limited time available wine that sells out every year!” says Natalie. “Oh, and I can’t forget our 2020 Maywine!” Bottled in late March, it was released in mid-April. “We have been sold out of this wine for over six months, and we weren't sure if we were going to be able to make it again,” she explains. “But we were able to find a source for the woodruff herbs used to make this wine (we had been unsuccessful at finding them since 2018).”
The gift shop, which is a labor of love for Ellena, is truly unique, offering many gift and gourmet food items that can't be found anywhere else! “We love sending customers home with gift baskets that will make them shine,” smiles Natalie.
Natalie joined her father in the family business of winemaking in 2004, and her passion for her craft continues to grow with each season. She is grateful to be able to do what she loves while working alongside her parents. “When working with your family, there is a closeness that you can't get on your own,” she says. “We love sharing wine with one another.”
With two daughters of her own, Natalie looks forward to passing down her love and appreciation of food and wine to the next generation. “I hope that I can have the same experience with them as I am having with my parents and being able to work alongside them.”
You won’t want to miss Latah Creek Wine Cellars’ 39th Anniversary Celebration, which will take place mid-July at the winery.
Latah Creek Wine Cellars
13030 E. Indiana Ave., Spokane Valley, WA