About the Winemaker

Alta Cellars was named in tribute to the pristine alpine lake just north of Chelan, Washington —  a lifelong favorite spot for Jay & Karen. The two have long had an appreciation for wine, food, family and the great outdoors in this tranquil location. Alta is a soul word to them, and they have turned that passion into the highly anticipated Alta cellars.

Owner/winemaker, Jay Pedersen has been a commercial fisherman for most of his life, as the Captain of The Ocean Leader in the Bering Sea. The job provides him with several months off in-between seasons. Back in 2005, With a love of wine, a curiosity of the winemaking process, and a few months of free time, he began volunteering at Cuillin Hills Winery, headed up by award winning winemaker Derek DesVoigne. Jay and Derek formed a fast friendship, and Jay’s passion for wine continued to grow while learning the process.

One day, it occurred to Jay that with as much time as he was spending helping to make wine, he ought to just start making his own. Jay has a fondness for Bordeaux inspired wines and new French Oak, so that became the primary focus of Alta Cellars. The first vintage, the 2007 Cabernet turned out so good, the next year he quadrupled production, and so it all began. Our winery production  space and tasting room is located  in the old firehouse building in Manson, where we offer great wines and fish tales in a casual and fun environment. Stop in and see us sometime!