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Live music, fresh flavors fill family-owned Benson Vineyards Estate Winery

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Benson Vineyards Estate Winery is located at 754 Winesap Avenue in Manson, Washington. The tasting room is open from 11 a.m. till 5 p.m. daily, year-round. (Photo by Jillian Foster)

Each year, Benson Vineyards Estate Winery in Manson hosts live music in their outdoor amphitheater on weekend afternoons, and the 2017 Benson Summer Concert Series line-up has been announced.

This year’s line-up is filled with local bands, popular visiting artists and new acts. Guests can enjoy music from the balcony of the tasting room while sipping on great wines produced by Benson. The winery’s new Ruby Port which they make from Syrah. Benson Vineyards will also be premiering a Merlot-based brandy soon. 

“We have a new Cabernet Sauvignon and a new Sangiovese which is probably the most popular,” Co-owner Jeff Benson said. “Also, we have the new Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Curious. The Curious is a white blend of 75 percent Viognier and 25 percent Gewürztraminer.”

Jeff Benson and mother Kathy Benson discuss the garden in front of Benson Vineyards’ tasting room. Kathy suggests Marigolds to Jeff as they plan for a busy tourist season. (Photo by Jillian Foster)

The winery stands out in the Lake Chelan wine region for many reasons, one being that they remain open year-round for tastings and another being that they do not currently offer a wine club. Benson stated that this is because the family did not want to rush into anything.

“We take baby steps here. We don’t rush in to anything,” Benson said. “We started with growing the vineyard and then worked our way up. We want to make it different from everyone else’s wine club and not give guests the same thing all the time. We want to see what guests like first.”

Benson Vineyards Estate Winery is family owned and operated by the Paul and Kathy Benson, originally from Mill Creek, Washington. In retirement, Paul and Kathy visited many wine growing areas. After trips to the Okanagan wine region of British Columbia, the couple decided to grow grapes in the Chelan area.

The tasting room at Benson Vineyards opened in 2005 with just three wines. Today, the family offers more than 12 including the white blend known as Curious. (Photo by Jillian Foster)

After nearly two years of research, the Bensons asked sons Scott and Jeff to join the business.

Paul and Jeff removed an existing apple orchard from the land and prepared the property for wine grapes, while Scott left a career in industrial engineering to go back to college and receive a degree in viticulture and enology.

By 2002, the Benson’s planted 23-acres of vineyard which were harvested for the first time in 2004. The winery is 100-percent estate, meaning all wines are made from grapes grown on the Benson’s own land.

The tasting room opened in the spring of 2005 with just three wines on the menu. Currently the winery produces over 5,000 cases annually and offers sales in the tasting room, online and through local purveyors.

The Ruby Port is one of the newest offerings at Benson Vineyards made from Syrah grapes. The family will soon premier a Brandy as well. (Photo by Jillian Foster)

With a wide selection of varietals and blends to choose from, concert-goers will want to attend multiple concerts to taste them all.

Benson Vineyards Estate Winery is located at 754 Winesap Avenue in Manson, Washington. The tasting room is open from 11 a.m. till 5 p.m. daily, year-round.

Live Music goes from 3 – 6 p.m. unless stated

May 20, 2-5 p.m. – Lake Boys (Spring Barrel Tasting)

May 27 – Waterdog

May 28 – Hall Pass

June 3, 2-5 p.m. – Side Door

June 10, 2-5 p.m. – Velvet Elvis

June 17, 2-5 p.m. – Two for the Show

June 24, 2-5 p.m. – Jesse James & the MOB

July 1 – Waterdog (4th of July weekend)

July 2 – Loose Change (4th of July weekend)

July 8 – The Rumor

July 15 – Rear View Mirror

July 22 – Waterdog

July 29 – Loose Change

August 12 – Squirrels of Shame

August 19 – American Fool

August 26 – Kevin Jones Band

Sept. 2 – Petty Thief (Labor Day weekend)

Sept. 3 – Brian Dijulio & the Lovejacks (Labor Day weekend)

Sept. 9, 2-5 p.m. – Darnell Scott

Sept. 16, 2-5 p.m. –  Brothers from Different Mothers

Sept. 30, 2-5 p.m. – Jones, Wood & Sandvick

Oct. 7, 2-5 p.m. – Whiskey Fever (Lake Chelan Crush weekend)

Oct. 14, 2-5 p.m. – Larry Murante

The concert space at Benson Vineyards overlooks the family’s land and offers sweeping views of Lake Chelan. (Photo by Jillian Foster)

(By Jillian Foster)

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