Recently I enjoyed a visit to Silver Bell Winery, Manson Chamber of Commerce’s
newest member. They have a great story, like most of the family owned wineries in
the Lake Chelan Valley. Located at 21 Veroske Road in Manson, at an elevation of 1,470 feet, the view of Lake Chelan and surrounding area is extraordinary.
Owners Alan and Diane Holtzheimer grew up on Whidbey Island and raised their
family in Skagit County. They are blessed with two adult children, Zach and Katie.
Zach serves as “Tasting Room Manager” and heads up the Marketing Department.
Zach attended Eastern Washington University and graduated Spring 2020 with a
Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, a good fit! Zach’s girlfriend, Savanna, works in
the tasting room.
When asked how the idea of owning and operating a winery started Alan said,
“From 1995 to 2012 we owned an automotive towing company, a tough business
with long hours and zero days off. I started making wine in our garage, it was
going to be a hobby! This new hobby soon turned into a passion that could not be
ignored. Diane and I made the decision to make wine as an exit strategy from the
towing business and a move towards a more rewarding career.”
The Holtzheimer’s opened a tasting room in La Conner in 2012. “We still had kids
in school at the time and La Conner was the best choice for our tasting room and
close to home. From as early as 2008 we knew we would eventually move our
winery to ‘wine country’ but were not sure where that would be until we came to
visit our friends, Charlie and Lacey Lybecker (owners Cairdeas Winery). After a
few visits we knew this was by far the best choice to fulfill our winery dreams”,
Alan went on.
I asked Diane to give me three reasons why they like living in Manson. “The
people – We have never felt more welcomed and more part of a community; The
geography – Is there a more beautiful place with four distinct seasons? The winery
climate - This already is and will continue to expand as one of the greatest places
to come and enjoy the best of Washington wines.”
Ground was broken for Silver Bell Winery the summer of 2018, and opened the tasting room June 25, 2021. Silver Bell wines are made on site in their production facility. Currently they have three red Bordeaux blends, a white Bordeaux, and a rosé. They set their target goal of producing 2000 cases a year but they are already seeing that will not be enough, a good problem!
As a new winery they have earned several “Double Gold’s” from the Seattle Wine Awards. Currently, they offer a charcuterie plate and plan on expanding the food menu next year. Silver Bell offers two levels for their wine club members with releases in the spring and fall.
Be sure to add Silver Bell Winery to your next wine tasting adventure. Stop in and say hello to Alan, Diane, Zach and Savanna. Sit back, enjoy the awe-inspiring view and amazing wines. Contact Silver Bell Winery at 509-508-1015 or visit their website www.silverbellwinery.com
By Norm Manly Community Volunteer