A toast to Spokane Valley’s family owned and operated winery By Jillian Chandler | Photo by Annie Zasadny Photography
Latah Creek Wine Cellars has established itself as a destination winery year-round for both locals and visitors to the Inland Northwest. Established in 1982 by husband-and-wife Mike and Ellena Conway, Latah Creek Wine Cellars, Washington state’s 35th winery (there are now more than 1,000 across the state), has been pouring excellence into each glass with their affordable, award-winning wines. Joined by their daughter Natalie Barnes, they are continuing that mission four decades later.
When someone mentions Latah Creek, many things come to mind: Fantastic wines. Family owned and operated. Amazing food and wine pairings. Affordable prices. And owners and winemakers who have a love for what they do and sharing it with others. “For me, I love making wine,” shares Natalie, winemaker alongside her father Mike. “My husband and I have talked many times over the years (especially with COVID lurking in the background) on what I would do if we didn’t have the winery. I was honestly at a loss, because I truly love my job. If I were not able to make wine, a part of me would be missing.
“The enthusiasm I feel each day I step foot in the winery is simply because I love what I do! I also want to continue my parent’s legacy, as they were an integral part of the beginning Washington wine scene.”
Wine lovers have continued to enjoy sipping wines while visiting with friends and neighbors in the stunning tasting room and gift shop, which were beautifully remodeled in 2019, just months before the pandemic hit and forced them to close their doors.
“Many of our regular customers have seen the amazing changes, but we get at least five people a week who walk in the doors and immediately stop. They are incredibly surprised by the changes, having not been in since the remodel because COVID shut us down for so long,” says Natalie.
As you enter the tasting room, you will find a space that can comfortably accommodate patrons and easily adhere to social distancing rules, making it a perfect gathering place to relax and taste. The space was opened up by removing walls, adding community tables, a stone wall accent, a new tasting bar, new shelves to better display their wide selection of gifts and gourmet food, and the center of it all—a chalkboard wall illustrating the winery and the Conway family history.
“We want people to know that we’ve been here for 40 years and plan to be for at least another 40,” smiles Natalie. “Plus, we wanted a space where people could mingle and make friends among fellow wine tasters. A space to feel like home, a place you are always welcome.”
Currently at the winery, you will find nearly 20 wines that are available for tasting, by the glass or bottle purchase—enjoy six tastes of your choice for just $10! During these colder months, Natalie suggests a glass—or bottle—of the winery’s Tempranillo, explaining the wine’s rustic flavors, and how the wine pairs with almost any meal. “We also love to serve our Hot Spiced Sangria,” she adds. “Not only does the aroma fill your entire house while you warm it, but it wholeheartedly warms your body.”
During the month of December, for every $50 you spend, you will receive $25 in LatahWineBucks to be used toward wine purchases of $50 or more January 1 through 16, 2022. The last two weeks of February welcomes Latah Creek’s Annual Case Sale, and come spring, over Mother’s Day weekend, they also take part in the Spokane Winery Association’s Spring Release Weekend, featuring tastings, with food pairings, specials and more.
Stop in to help Latah Creek celebrate 40 years in business.
Latah Creek Wine Cellars 13030 E. Indiana Ave. Spokane Valley, WA 509.926.0164