Visit. Sip. Enjoy.
By Jillian Chandler
This July, Latah Creek Wine Cellars in Spokane Valley, Washington, celebrates their 38th anniversary! 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 winemaker daughter Natalie Barnes, and 39 harvests later, they are continuing that mission.
In the fall of 2019, Latah Creek Wine Cellars unveiled their newly remodeled tasting room and gift shop at the winery, where they have created a space that is open and inviting to all who walk through the door. “We have loved the new tasting room and the open space it has given us!” says Natalie. “This space allows for more interaction between friends, other customers, and our knowledgeable and friendly staff. “
When Latah Creek was established in 1982, it was the 35th winery in Washington state, and today, there are more than 1,000 active wineries. Natalie joined her father Mike in 2004 as co-winemaker at Latah Creek, making them the first father/daughter winemaking team in the state. Sixteen years later, she remains passionate about the art of winemaking. “I love tasting the grapes on the vines, the juice as it is fermenting, all the while imagining what the finished wine will be,” Natalie smiles. “I love working with my parents and the interaction with my dad as we taste our wine, make blends, and just do winemaking together. And the most rewarding part of it all is when someone tastes our wine and falls in love with it.”
The father/daughter winemaker team continues to work together to make something exceptional that they both love, and for the past several years, they’ve been experimenting to create unique blends and small lots. “We are crafting these things together, listening to and sharing with one another,” says Natalie. “It is an experience that I can only hope I will be able to have with my own daughters.”
They are excited about the brand new release of their award-winning Chenin Blanc, as well as four new Reserve Reds coming down the pipeline; a brand new varietal the winery has never produced before, a Mourvèdre; as well as a new release of their extremely popular Barbera. This fall Latah Creek Wine Cellars will highlight their second release of “A Toast to Best Friends” white blend.
During these warmer months, Natalie still enjoys red wines with dinner. “I just love the flavor they add to any meal.” But she recommends chilling them in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes until they reach cellar temperature (55 to 65˚F). She also recommends Latah Creek’s Sangria, and during the afternoon, lighter varietals such as a Rosé, Pinot Gris or their new A Toast to Best Friends white blend. “They all have a crisp, fresh taste to them, making them perfectly enjoyable any day of the week!”
Mike, Natalie and Ellena invite you to stop in at the tasting room, open daily 9am to 5pm, where you can shop, taste, visit and enjoy.
Latah Creek Wine Cellars
13030 E. Indiana Ave.
Spokane Valley, Washington