In August of 2015, the Lake Chelan Valley suffered many losses during the Chelan Complex Fires. Some of these losses included businesses such as Ventimiglia Cellars. The winery, which opened in 2003 was located near Chelan Fruit which also suffered losses in the devastating fires. Now just over one year later, Ron and Shauna Ventimiglia are back in action pouring their wines in their new tasting room now located at 70 Wapato Way in downtown Manson.
“It feels great to be back,” said Owner and Winemaker Ron Ventimiglia.
His wife and Co-Owner Shauna Ventimiglia added, “It’s really exciting. Right after the fire what we missed most was the people. Now it’s one year later and here we are reopened.”
The Ventimiglia’s had previously partnered with MVP Vintners following the fires but Ron explained that they longed to have something of their own.
“We started out with MVP (Vintners) and we wanted to do our own thing,” said Ron. “That’s how it had been before, and we wanted to do it that way again.” Ron added that the increase of tasting rooms popping up in Manson makes it a great community for Ventimiglia Cellars.
Following the fires, The Ventimiglia’s did not let the loss of their facility get in the way of their production. The couple went right into harvest and planning for the future of the business and the wines.
“I’m very excited about the rosé, because we picked those grapes right after the fire. It was like therapy, and then Vin du Lac Winery opened their doors for us to use their equipment,” Shauna stated.
Vin du Lac Winery’s generosity was not the only support the Ventimiglia’s received. Outpourings of kindness flooded from the community and even strangers. Very soon after the fire the couple received a gift of 10 wine barrels from a couple they had never met.
On September 30, 2016, the new Ventimiglia Cellars tasting room became a reality. The Grand Opening was visited by fellow winemakers in the Manson area and old and new fans of the winemakers, whose wines include a Syrah co-fermented with Viognier, a Merlot, Rose, a Pinot Gris and Viognier blend, Pinot Noir, and their signature Bordeaux blend called Amalgamarsi, which means ‘to blend harmoniously.’
With a new tasting room and city to call home, the Ventimiglia’s are looking forward to their fresh start with fresh ideas. “We are hoping to add food or snacks, but we invite people to bring their own snacks or even a Green Dot sandwich as long as they drink our wine,” Ron said with a laugh.
Ventimiglia Cellars is now located at 70 Wapato Way in Manson, Washington. They plan on continuing their operating hours Wednesdays through Saturdays 12:30 to 6 p.m. throughout the autumn season. To learn more about the winery and their happenings, visit the Ventimiglia Cellars website or visit their Facebook page.
(By Jillian Foster)