Taste and sip in downtown Coeur d’Alene
By Jillian Chandler
Photo by Urban Rose Photography
Castaway Cellars prides itself as a small boutique winery. With winery facilities in both Hayden, Idaho, and Prosser, Washington, you can find their tasting room in the heart of downtown Coeur d’Alene in the Resort Plaza Shops.
“Our mission as a small family owned winery is to craft well-balanced and elegant wines from a variety of exceptional vineyards in the Pacific Northwest,” shares Scott Crawford, owner.
He and his wife Shelly, co-owner and winemaker, have long had a passion for wine and winemaking. What started out as a winemaking hobby at home, sharing their creations with friends and family, would become Castaway Cellars, producing their first vintage in 2015.
“Shelly was very interested in the science of winemaking, as well as gaining more knowledge about grape growing,” says Scott. “She made the decision to enroll in the viticulture and enology program at WSU.” When Shelly’s schooling was nearly complete, the couple made the leap of faith into starting Castaway Cellars.
As the couple was first starting out, they were blessed to have Robert Smasne, Washington State Winemaker of the Year for 2013, as their consultant and from whom Shelly learned a lot about winemaking. “He has been a great asset to our business and someone who has been really supportive of us,” says Scott.
The small size of the winery allows the Crawfords to focus on small-batch quality wines. By keeping production small, according to Scott, they are able to experiment with their wines and make choices that would most likely be much different if they were operating a larger winery.
Since opening their tasting room three-and-a-half years ago, the community has been there to show their support from day one. “We have so many regular customers that have really cheered us on. There have been hurdles, as in any new business, but we found we have a really great support system in those supporters, friends, and family,” smiles Scott.
The local business community has also embraced Scott and Shelly’s endeavor, as they have hosted Christmas parties and corporate events, provided a wonderful space for office meetings and a quiet place for businessmen and women to visit with their clients. “In addition to being a host, we’ve also collaborated with local galleries, restaurants, hotels and food vendors to market each other’s businesses,” shares Shelly. “Wherever we can we support local vendors in our food and display art and market materials for local businesses.”
Each Friday, from 6 to 9pm, guests will enjoy live music featuring Mountains in the Sea; the perfect accompaniment to the great wine and appetizers.
Scott and Shelly feel fortunate to be part of such a wonderful community and find ways to give back to the place they call home. They have been regular contributors to the Post Falls Food Bank (Scott previously served on their Board of Directors) and Toys for Tots. Shelly spends time volunteering at their children’s school and helping to organize fundraisers. Castaway Cellars has also been involved with Pinot for Pints, a local blood drive, and constantly support and donate their wines to various causes and benefit events.
The most important part of having this business for Scott and Shelly has been the ability to share their wine with others. “Wine and food really bring people together, and it is really rewarding to be part of that,” the couple shares. They invite you to stop in their Tasting Room, which is open daily, noon to 6pm Monday through Thursday, noon to 9pm Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 6pm Sunday to share, sip and enjoy. There's no better time than the present to spend time with someone you love over a bottle of Castaway Cellars wine.
Castaway Cellars Tasting Room
210 Sherman Avenue, Suite 161
in the Resort Plaza Shops
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814