Shane Collins of Tsillan Cellars

Shane Collins returned to his roots in the Lake Chelan area in 2007 to work for Tsillan Cellars where he became head winemaker in 2008.  Since that time the wines have been 100% estate, highlighting the Italian, German, Rhone and Bordeaux varietals grown on Tsillan’s 35 acre vineyard.  In addition to vines, the 135 acre site is home to a beautiful Tuscan style tasting room, Sorrento’s Italian Restaurant, and a glass pavilion for indoor/outdoor eating.  The restaurant has been named one of the most scenic in America, and is the perfect venue for Tsillan’s winemaker dinner series and other events.

With its north facing slopes, Tsillan vineyard is unusual for Washington state, and Shane highlights in this interview the advantages of these particular slopes.  He also emphasizes the diversity of terroir in these 35 acres that makes it possible to grow many different varietals so successfully.   Even a single varietal exhibits significantly different characteristics depending on its location in the vineyard, and thus Shane often makes two or three different wines using the same varietal.   Although he thinks syrah is the varietal that does best in the Lake Chelan area, he is very excited by the quality of the malbec that has recently been produced at Tsillan Cellars.  With plans to increase total production to 8,500 cases each year, Tsillan will be opening a new tasting room in Woodinville soon.   Learn more from this interview.

Listen to the Interview: