New Siren Song winery brings European flairWhile most of us are content to take beautiful pictures of our trips to exotic locales, Winemaker Kevin Brown celebrates his cherished memories in a slightly different way: he creates distinctive wines that communicate the special tastes of discovery and adventure he experienced in some of the world's most fascinating places.
Want a little taste of Paris? Try the 2013 "Jolie." A night of samba dancing in Brazil is memorialized in the 2013 "Beijo." He fell in love with his wife a second time during a trip to Madrid, which resulted in his 2012 "A Night in Madrid."
No need for photo albums when you have a wine cellar full of these kinds of memories.
That's just one small part of what Kevin and his foodie-media guru wife, Holly, are doing with Siren Song Wines, the gorgeous Mediterranean-style winery that opened in 2015 on the South Shore of Lake Chelan. The name refers to the classic Odysseus tale of an "irresistible calling" -- which, for the Browns, translates to irresistible food, wine and memorable experiences.
The Browns are successful tech entrepreneurs from Seattle who fell in love with Chelan on their frequent visits to the area. Kevin had taken up wine-making as a hobby and, around the same time in 2007, Holly had launched her foodie website TheBrownLounge.com. They both were passionate about food, wine and travel. Kevin began producing Siren Song Wines while Holly expanded her website to include a multitude of articles and videos on cooking and entertaining. Holly partnered with newspapers and radio stations to reach an even broader audience.
Then, a few years ago, on one of their frequent visits to Lake Chelan, the Browns were riding bikes past the old Cortelli Estate and noticed that the seven-acre property was for sale. The Browns knew the location was stunning and that started the wheels turning. As Holly remembers it, "we thought, wouldn't it be cool if we had a place here where we could live and work in beautiful Lake Chelan."
About three years later, the winery opened its doors -- and what a winery it is. Lake Chelan reminds the Browns of some of the more picturesque lakes in Europe -- including Italy's famous Lake Como -- so it was only natural that the building would have a Mediterranean design which also is in keeping with the wines and foods that are served in the winery's bistro. The classic architecture fits perfectly with the sweeping views of the lake, and patrons especially enjoy the expansive outdoor veranda that seats 200 guests for wine-tasting and dining.
"We wanted to create a place wherewe would want to go," says Holly, who explained that a lot of attention was paid to the "flow and procession" that starts with the picturesque winding road up to the winery and continues through the elegant tasting and dining area out to the veranda and that zillion-dollar lake view. The flavor is definitely European with French provincial accents throughout. It's upscale, but user-friendly and not at all pretentious.
Uniquely, wine tastings at Siren Song are delivered table-side instead of the more common experience of standing at a wine bar. "I don't know of anybody who does it exactly like we do," Holly explained. "If you're tasting wine you really have to get to know the wine, and maybe go back and compare wines with each other, and maybe have some food." So, at Siren Song, you can expect to be pampered as your wine tasting is brought to you, allowing you to relax and enjoy the view.
Siren Song features many special events every Wednesday throughout the summer, beginning July 6 through August 31st.
On Wednesday afternoons, Holly AKA "The Siren in the Kitchen" teaches cooking classes that include a focus on French, Italian and Spanish cuisine. Classes include hands-on food preparations, followed by a luncheon with wine pairings.
On Wednesday evenings, Siren Song presents its "Concert and Cuisine Series." Tickets include a multi-course European themed dinner, a bottle of wine and live entertainment. You'll enjoy upscale performances such as the well-known French Gypsy jazz trio, Pearl Django, or a live Spanish flamenco show. All events require advanced tickets which can be purchased at www.sirensongwines.com.
With all of this going on you might think the Browns are completely focused on business. That's only partially true because they're also parents of five kids (and adults) ages 13 through 27. Two sons are currently working at the winery.
"Somehow we do it all," says Holly, who adds they definitely "have all hands on deck."
(Siren Song Vineyard Estate and Winery is located at 635 South Lakeshore Road, Chelan. More information is available at www.sirensongwines.com or please phone (509) 888-4657.)
PHOTOS: Partying on the veranda at Siren Song Wines; Kevin and Holly Brown; Holly Brown
RECOMMENDED LODGING: Lake Chelan lodging
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