Wedge Mountain Winery is owned and (well and truly) * * operated by Charlie and Mary Ann McKee. The winery is located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, five miles east of the Bavarian village of Leavenworth, Washington, on the beautiful Wenatchee River. Charlie is the winemaker, crafting truly exceptional wines, and Mary Ann will more than likely be in the tasting room to present them to you.
Our vineyards sit next to the Wenatchee River, and we invite you to visit them. If you arrive on a day when tours are in progress, winemaker Charlie will actually take you around himself: the orchard trailer is “outfitted” with bales of straw for “luxury seating”, and our original (antique!) tractor does all of the work (while you sit sipping a glass of wine, of course!).
Wedge Mountain Winery produces eight different varieties of vitis vinifera, the European wine grape. The first acre was planted in 1999 on an experimental basis (with these eight varietals), and the best two varietals (meaning those which we hoped would do well in our unique growing conditions) were selected for further planting. In the spring of 2006, Charlie replaced three acres of apple and pear trees with an acre and a half each of Riesling and Lemberger, in what is now known as “Stony Hill Vineyard”. When Mother Nature is kind, we are able to produce a very limited quantity of estate wine; more often than not, we are sourcing grapes from quality vineyards in other areas of Washington, particularly Red Mountain, Wahluke Slope, and the Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley AVA’s.
How did we get into this? There were several reasons. In the mid-90’s (and, yes, even today) it was a struggle making a living growing apples and pears, so we decided to diversify into growing wine grapes and subsequently opened the winery. (We still love our fruit, and refer to that part of our operation as our “orchard garden”. Fresh fruit from the orchard is always available at the winery during harvest season.)
Additionally, winemaking has (almost) always been a part of Charlie’s life: as a young Marine stationed in Naples, Italy, during the mid-fifties, Charlie learned about winemaking from local farmers and winemakers. Over the years he perfected his own style of winemaking — an approach that allows each grape varietal to truly “express itself” in the wine. Professionally, as an engineer, he had the opportunity to travel in Europe (and drink some great wines — always “taking notes”, of course!).
A description of our winery would not be complete without reference to some rather unique features: an underground cave where the wines age gracefully in French and American oak barrels, a straw bale building (which you must see for yourself) which houses wine, equipment, AND the tasting room, and (outside) a waterfall which invites you to “stop and rest awhile” with a picnic and a glass of Wedge Mountain wine.
An exquisite bottle of wine, a memory for all time…….
* * (Yes, Charlie has filled, individually, and Mary Ann has hand-corked ALMOST every bottle of wine produced here! And our bottling crew is generally a ” crew of two”, Michelle and Bonnie — and sometimes THEIR families — and they have been helping us out almost since Day One!)