OUR STORY

It all started in 1998, when we planted a test block vineyard just 20 minutes north of Lake Chelan at the bottom of the Methow Valley. It had Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and everything in between. In 2001 we loaded up our car, put our house up for sale, and headed to the Willamette to make Pinot Noir. Dean had landed a job working for Bud Beck at Advanced Vineyards and then moved on to make wine under Isabelle

Dean had landed a job working for Bud Beck at Advanced Vineyards and then moved on to make wine under Isabelle Dutarte at Deponte and Tony Soter and James Cahill at Soter Vineyards. Heather took on the retail side and spent time selling wines from relatively hard to find producers.

On the side, we started a label called Nonni and Zing. It was a small project of about 250 cases annually and was made entirely from fruit sourced from the Dundee Hills AVA. That was a good time.

Step two came to an end in 2004, when Washington and the allure of its endless possibilities lured us home. We found our property on the south shore of the Lake Chelan AVA and closed on it in June of that year. That very same year, we planted more vineyard near our original test block: Rocky Mother (Syrah) and Stone’s Throw (Riesling). The following year was spent building our wine making facility, and planting our on-site vineyard: Defiance. Our tasting room opened for Valentine’s Day in 2006.

We’ve been ticking along, doing our thing and living our dream since then. If you find yourself in Chelan, we hope that you take a drive through our vineyard and climb our little slope. We promise that you will like what you find at the top.

-Dean, Heather, George, Cooper and Lucy (the dog) Neff

OUR PEOPLE MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

Dean Neff, Red Winemaker
Dean heads up the red wine program at Nefarious and when he is not in the cellar, you’ll find him wearing either the vineyard guy, handyman, heavy lifter, cellar rat, or disaster averter hat.

Heather Neff, White Winemaker
Heather handles the whites, the wine club, the website/printing/graphic stuff and jokes that she is in charge of the pretty department, so if it’s broken or a tractor is required, forget about it.

Efrain Rangel, The Vineyard Guy
Efrain is the one who makes sure everything is pruned, mowed, tucked into place and growing beautifully.  We grow amazing fruit and he is a big part of that.  Efrain also steps into the cellar during crush to help press, punch down, and do all that winemaking stuff.

Anton Mayer, Cellarmaster

Anton, a.k.a Tony (only to those who grew up with him!) is a lifelong resident of the valley, and is our go-to for any questions regarding Chelan (or the Seahawks).  In addition to typical Cellarmaster duties (cleaning, topping, punch downs, pump-overs, crushing, pressing, more cleaning), Anton spends a good deal of time in our tasting room, being our resident handyman, and generally picking up the slack.   He is really good at that, along with being the ever important 3rd (and often deciding) vote for blends!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can we have our wedding at your winery?
We love that you would consider us for such a special day in your life, but unfortunately we don’t have the facilities to accommodate such events.  There are many beautiful wineries in the Lake Chelan Wine Valley which do.  For more more information, visit www.lakechelanwinevalley.com

Do you charge a tasting fee?
We sure do.  It is $10 for a flight of four wines.  One tasting fee is refunded with each bottle purchase.

What are your tasting room hours?
The easy and useless answer is that they are variable, but we do have them posted on our tasting room page.

What is your policy on donations?
We accept donation requests throughout the year.  However, we make all of our donation decisions on March 1st for the upcoming year.  You may submit your requests by email to: heather@nefariouscellars.com.  While we know that all donation requests and charities are wonderful, we put most of our emphasis on supporting causes in Lake Chelan.

How large of a group can you accommodate?
We want everyone who visits our tasting room to have a wonderful experience.  If you have been here already, you know that our spot is pretty small and a little bit noisy (we think in a good way).  For those reasons, we request that you keep your groups to a maximum of 6 people, or contact us in advance.  We do take tasting appointments at 12:00 and 1:00 on the days that we are open for groups of 7-16.  You are welcome to ask about groups larger than that, but it is very dependent whether or not we can accommodate more.

Where can we find your wines in the Seattle area?
We love that you are thinking about us and want to buy our wines in your neighborhood. Here is a list of where to look.

Which carrier do you use to ship wine?
We ship via UPS only.  We apologize if this causes an inconvenience.


 

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