Hard Row to Hoe is a family owned winery and vineyard in Lake Chelan Washington. I met owners Don (viticulture) and Judy (wine maker) Phelps at a wine tasting event and fell in love with their story, their approach to wine, and of course the innuendo associated (more to come on this). When I was looking to open Nectar Tasting Room in 2010 the Phelps’ were some of the first people I reached out to. Hard Row to Hoe was a significant part of the Nectar story from 2011 to 2014 and we are excited to have them back in Spokane, even if only for a month.

So the Story Goes

Back in the 30’s, as the construction of Grand Coulee Dam wrapped up many workers made their way to the Chelan area to work in an area mine. A few miles up the lake at Point Lovely, some entrepreneurial young women established a brothel to ‘service’ the needs of the young men. One story has it than an industrious lad set up a row boat taxi service from Lucerne so these gentleman could support the thriving business.

Thus, tongue in cheek, it was a hard row to hoe.

Don and Judy take their wine seriously but are very playful with the connection to the story. Whether it is their tawdry bordello themed tasting room (complete with karma sutra wallpaper) or the names of their wines ranging from Seduction, Shameless Hussy, Nauti Buoy or S & M (not referring to what you think) you can’t help but have fun when tasting their wines.

Don Phelps will be on hand Friday March 3 for First Friday. He will be bringing with him 6 delicious wines that will stay on the menu for the entire month. We are also bringing in a caricature artist so you and your friends can have fun getting in the boat, so to speak. Enjoy prizes, swag, and a night of fun and then stop by to enjoy the whole month of March.

Visit the Hard Row to Hoe website for even more on the winery. Visit them in Lake Chelan or in Leavenworth, WA.