Cairdeas (we say ‘Cardis’) is an ancient Gaelic word meaning friendship, goodwill or alliance. We believe in all three. Good wine should be shared with friends, goodwill spread at every opportunity, and alliances created with those who share our passion.
The word Cairdeas holds a special meaning to us based on Charlie’s Irish heritage, Lacey’s goodwill (that is how we met), the alliance we have made with each other and those in our industry, and the friendships we have made along the way.
We are a very small artisan winery started in 2009 by Charlie & Lacey Lybecker. Our winery was founded in West Seattle, but our hearts were calling us to the Chelan Valley.
RHÔNE INSPIRED WINES CRAFTED IN LAKE CHELAN
We pull our inspiration from the Rhône valley of France and craft delicious wines from Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Counoise, Cinsault (red grapes) and Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Picpoul (white grapes) to craft some traditional and truly unique blends.
The Rhône is generally divided into two sub-regions with distinct vinicultural traditions, the Northern Rhône and the Southern Rhône. The northern sub-region produces red wines from the Syrah grape, sometimes blended with white wine grapes, and white wines from Marsanne, Roussane and Viognier grapes. The southern sub-region produces an array of red, white and rosé wines, often blends of several grapes such as in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Syrah is the only red grape variety permitted in red AOC wines from this sub-region. The grape, which is believed to have originated in or close to the Rhône region, is also widely known as Shiraz, its name in Australia and much of the English-speaking world, and has recently become very popular with consumers around the world.
The southern Rhône’s most famous red wine is Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a blend containing up to 19 varieties of wine grapes (ten red and nine white) as permitted by the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC rules. Gigondas AOC, on the other hand, is predominantly made from Grenache Noir. Depending on the specific AOC rules, grapes blended into Southern Rhône reds may include Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault.
WHO WE ARE
Being a family owned and operated winery means everyone plays a very important part in keeping the winery going. Meet our crew:
Charlie’s passion for wine emerged when Lacey and Charlie first started dating. What’s more romantic than a date of wine tasting or uncorking a new discovery with dinner? His curiosity for what makes the wines turn out the way that they do (vineyards, barrels, yeast, wine making techniques) ignites his passion to discover how truly great wines are made. He has always been fascinated with wines from the Rhône Valley of France which is reflected in our vineyard choices and in the wines that we make.
President, Owner & The Glue
Lacey is the President, Owner, and The Glue here at Cairdeas Winery. She manages the business operations including marketing and sales; but also loves taking part in harvest cellar work, tending the vines, blending, and bottling. Prior to working full time at the winery, Lacey held marketing management roles in the fields of nonprofit, events and hospitality. Currently, she serves on the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is the Vice Chair of the Washington State Wine Commission Board of Directors. Lacey & Charlie are also raising two boys (if we type their ages here, this page will surely be outdated) and a vineyard seemed like the best backyard for their kids to grow up in.
Cellarmaster & Farm Manager
Charles is Lacey’s younger brother and they grew up on a farm in northwestern Minnesota. From the moment the winery started, Charles was asking when we would hire him. Lacey’s answer: I have to hire myself first. Fast forward to 2017, on a whim, Charles took a sabbatical from his job in Fargo, ND to join us for harvest. He really enjoyed the change of pace! In April of 2018, he and his wife, Kylie, made the move to Lake Chelan, and he joined our team as Cellarmaster and Farm Manager (he is a jack of all trades which comes in handy). They have a daughter, Clara, and two dogs, Luna and Wall-E.
Tasting Room Manager
Danielle joined the Cairdeas Crew in March of 2016. She was new to the Lake Chelan Valley and planned on spending some time with her kids before jumping back into a career. Lacey and Charlie asked (ok, maybe begged) her to help out at the tasting room one weekend and the rest is history! One day a week transitioned to two and three, and eventually, we knew she was meant to be our Tasting Room Manager. Danielle is such an integral part of our team. Her background is in retail sales management and she is an expert in developing systems to help us all run more efficiently.
Wine Club Manager
In the beginning of 2018, Kai marched into our tasting room and announced she was moving back to Lake Chelan (she lived here previously and then spent a few years in the Seattle area). Before consulting with Lacey, Charlie offered her a job on the spot. She initially joined our team as a tasting room associate plus distribution lead plus events manager, but as she got to know our amazing wine club members, we knew she was the perfect fit to be our Wine Club Manager. Kai lives in Manson with her husband Jake, their daughter Makenna, and puppy dog, Ash.
Miriah grew up in Prosser, WA and went on to study Biomedical Sciences at the University of New Mexico, determined to never go back to small town life… until a summer at a local tasting room when she discovered her Chemistry and Biology knowledge could translate over to winemaking. She quickly joined a local winery in time for harvest as a Lab Tech (kind of degree related, right?) doing everything from lab to cellar. After furthering her wine education she split her time between Enologist at the winery and Viticulture Tech in the vineyards, truly growing an appreciation for all aspects of the winemaking process and what it takes to go from grape to glass. After a lifetime in the Yakima Valley, she decided to explore other wine regions and was instantly smitten with Chelan and Cairdeas. She joined the Cairdeas production team as our Enologist in July 2021. When she’s not at the winery, she can be found curled up with a good book and glass of wine (sometimes at the winery), or down by the water on the beautiful shores of Lake Chelan, WA.
Tannin the Wine Dog
Senior Wine Dog
Tannin The Wine Dog is a Chocolate Lab and Red Doberman mix that we adopted from the Seattle Humane Society in 2009 when he was approximately a year and a half old (our best guess). In true lab fashion he is on high alert all the time but is the sweetest wine dog you have ever met. He is regularly our greeter at the winery and will make sure you know he needs some love.
Avignon Gris (Avi)
Wine Dog In Training
Named after one of our favorite towns in the Rhône valley Avi Gris is a half Great Dane half Great Pyrenees mix that we adopted from the Great Pyrenees Rescue Society in 2020 when she was 4 months old. She is such a sweet heart! She is growing fast and learning the ropes of being a winery dog. She loves people and is still learning her manners but often has the cutest grunts when she is getting loved. She is a little awkward which means she fits into the Cairdeas Family perfectly.
Our Amazing Crew
Production and Tasting Room staff
Linzie, Chuck, Andrea, Danielle, Lacey, Charlie, Miriah, Kai, Cara, Caitlin, Charles (not pictured: Sam, Epi, Sarah, and Paige)
OUR LATEST IMAGES ON INSTAGRAM
Rhône-Inspired Wines Crafted in Lake Chelan | Est. 2009 | Charlie & Lacey Lybecker | #cairdeaswinery | @wine_advocate Top 100 Wine Discoveries 2020