Monday, March 11, 2013

Mellisoni: Wine and Experience on the Shores of Lake Chelan

From Lucha Vino:

Lake Chelan visitors are having their world rocked with the Mellisoni wine and tasting experience.  Proprietors Rob and Donna Mellison know that wine can rock all by itself like a blazing guitar solo.  But, wine really shines when you surround it with other elements like food, ambiance and friends.  The same way a guitar combines with bass, drums and vocals to create a kick ass rock band. Engaging all your senses can take you from a Joe Satriani guitar solo to a full on rock opera ala Tommy from The Who.

Another thing that Rob and Donna know is that a mosh pit might be part of the punk rock experience, but it shouldn't be part of your wine tasting experience. They know that appreciating and experiencing wine is something that cannot be rushed.  Rather, you need to take your time and truly experience the unique characters of the wine along with food, friends and all your senses.  Just like a great rock band. You can have stellar guitar solos, but you need a full ensemble to put together a super group and rock the world.

Rob and Donna started hosting private tastings on the vineyard out of necessity.  They did not have a tasting room or other facility to host people at their vineyard, yet they wanted to be able to share their wines and experiences. Voila! The Mellisoni wine experience was born.

Let’s rewind the tape a bit and start this thing from the top.

Rob and Donna purchased their property on the South shore of Lake Chelan with the intent of building a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.  Within days of their purchase closing they were off to Italy for an agri-tourismo experience in Tuscany.  They never saw it coming, but that trip to Italy was literally a life changing experience.

Rob and Donna spent two weeks between Tuscany and Umbria.  While in Livernano they lived and worked on an estate vineyard. Quite literally drinking in the Italian lifestyle and winemaking experience.

You could say that their senses were awakened by the time spent in Tuscany and Umbria.  That awakening hatched a plan to bring the agri-tourismo experience back to Lake Chelan.  That piece of property that was going to host their weekend get away was transformed into a vineyard.  And that vineyard would be the place where Rob and Donna hosted people to help them experience wine, food and the beauty of the Lake Chelan valley.  The Mellison’s dream is turning into reality one piece at a time like putting together a super group.

Flip the album over, drop the needle and back in Chelan the vineyard is bursting to life like the sounds of AC/DC and an Angus Young power chord blasting from your stereo speakers.

In 2005 they began by terracing the land and planning for their vineyard.  Plenty of research went into determining what grape varieties to plant and then what clones to use.  Rob wanted to plant red wine grapes, but the guidance was that white wine grapes would thrive on their property.  The lower 2 acre vineyard was planted in 2006.  Seeking inspiration from the Zind-Humbrecht wines of the Alsace region of France Rob and Donna planted the lower vineyard with Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris.

The upper 2 acre vineyard was planted in 2010 and is the home for red wine varieties including Moscato, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Barbera that will be released as single varietal wines.  Then there is Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that will be blended with the Nebbiolo and Barbera to make Super Tuscan style wines.

Rob and Donna are focusing on their vineyard while learning the ins and outs of wine making.  They have partnered with Katy and Milum Perry (from Tildio) to make the Mellisoni wines.  In addition to being the Mellisoni wine maker, the Perrys are also helping Rob and Donna learn the details of the wine business.

When the final notes fade away and the album is done we are back to the beginning or a new beginning.  Rob has big plans to turn the Mellisoni estate vineyard into a wine tourism destination.  There will be a giant pool, cabanas and maybe even a chateau.  I am picturing something like the scene in The Kid’s are Alright where John Entwistle takes his gold albums out on the property and uses them for skeet shooting practice.

If you are looking for a unique and personal way to experience wine you should make a plan to meet up with Rob and Donna for the Mellisoni experience.  You will take part in a private three hour tasting that will feature five wine and food pairings.

The pairings are personally selected to accentuate the character of the wine and the food.  Like this example: Rob pairs spicy habanero infused humus with Gewürztraminer.  The dry sweetness of the Gewurtz immediately soothes the burning fire created by the habanero and lime humus.

You will feel like a rock star for those three hours.  Don’t delay, make your reservations to hang out in the Mellisoni vineyard soon.  The word is spreading and the dates book up in a hurry.  Catch these rising stars before the rest of the world and you will be able to say “I knew about Mellisoni wine before they hit the big time.”


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