Local Wineries

Canyon River Ranch is located just minutes away from Yakima Valley Wine Country. There are many great tasting rooms and beautiful vineyards in the area open to the public. While staying at the Lodge, exploring Yakima Wine Country is a pleasant and entertaining activity to participate in. 

Here are some local wineries we recommend: 

Our Vineyard

Canyon River Ranch has a private vineyard where we produce a limited release Syrah wine. Installed in 2007 and overseen by an award-winning Washington winemaker, our vineyard creates a beautiful vintage Syrah that is bold and fruit-forward with a mellow peppery finish.

Currently, access to our vineyard is only available to lodge and cabin owners.

We offer tastings of our very own Release Syrah as well as a rotating selection of local wines at the Canyon River Grill. 

Our Winemaker


Bio of Charles Ray Sandidge III



Bachelors of Science Degree – Washington State University 1977.  Major:  Horticulture.

Work Experience:

  • 1979 – 1985:  Washington State University Research Technologist – Prosser, WA.  Conducted plant physiology and genetics research on tree fruits and wine grapes.
  • 1985 – 1987:  Pindar Vineyards Co-Winemaker/Vineyard Manager – Peconic, Long Island, NY.  Managed 45 acres of Vitus Vinifera vineyard plus made 30,000 cases still and sparkling wines from; Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Riesling grapes.  NOTE:  1986 Reserve Chardonnay and 1986 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon wines I co-authored from the 1986 vintage were selected to be served at President George Bush’s 1989 Inaugural Ball.
  • 1987 – 1990:  Weingut Georg Breuer Winemaker – Ruedesheim am Rhein, Germany.  Sole winemaker for this 135 year old 3,000 case ultra – premium German winery.  Made still and sparkling wines from; Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Riesling. 
  • 1991 – 1994:  Apex Cellars & W. B. Bridgeman Co-Winemaker – Sunnyside, WA.  Was this 120,000 case wineries co-winemaker together with Brian Carter.  Made wines from; Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Zinfandel.
  • 1994 – 1998:  Hyatt Vineyards Winemaker – Zillah, WA.  Made the reserve red wines and all white wines for this 7,500 case winery.  Made wine from; Black Muscat, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah.
  • 1998 – 2003: Kestrel Vintners Winemaker – Prosser, WA.  Sole winemaker for this 10,000 case ultra – premium winery.  Made wine from: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sangiovese, Syrah and Viognier.
  • 1999 – Present: C. R. Sandidge Wines Winemaker/Owner – Chelan, WA.  Sole winemaker for this 1,700 case winery.  Still and sparkling wines made from; Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Dolcetto, Tannat, Gewurztraminer, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Syrah.
  • 2004 – 2015: Lake Chelan Winery Winemaker/Vineyard Quality Control – Chelan, WA.  Sole winemaker for this 14,000 case winery operation (8,500 cases – Lake Chelan Winery & 5,500 cases custom winemaking).  Still and sparkling wines made from; Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Syrah and Viognier.
  • 2005 – 2010: KarMa Vineyards Winemaker/Vineyard Quality Control – Chelan, WA.  Sole winemaker for this 3,000 case winery.Made still and sparkling wines from; Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Malbec, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Syrah.
  • 2009 – Present:  Custom winemaking for the Canyon River Ranch owners utilizing the Syrah grapes from their vineyard located in the Yakima River Canyon.
  • 2016: Owner/Grower of C. R. Sandidge Wines, Inc. estate vineyard (Lake Chelan AVA).  4 acres planted to; Dolcetto, Gewurztraminer, Malbec, Riesling and Tannat.
  • 2017 - Present:  Vineyard Oversight for Tsillan Cellars (Lake Chelan AVA).  A 38 acre Tsillan Cellars estate owned vineyard focusing on; Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Riesling, Sangiovese and Syrah.



  • To date, over 50 – plus scores of 90 points or better have been awarded to wines I have made over the past 35 years. 
  • 2002 C. R. Sandidge Tri*Umph red blend was rated by the New World International Wine Competition (San Diego, CA) the “Best New World Red Wine” made in all of the New World to include over 1,000+ wine submissions from; North America, South America, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
  • 1989 Georg Breuer Berg Rottland Trockenbeerenauslese dessert wine rated 97 points and World Champion at the Chicago BTI International Wine Competition.
  • Merlot wines made by me resulted in Hyatt Vineyards being rated one of North Americas Top 3% of wineries producing the finest quality Merlot the three years I made Hyatt Merlot Reserve wines.
  • Weingut Georg Breuer winery was rated one of Germany’s Top 50 wineries for the first time in that 126 year old winery’s history due to the Riesling wines I made.  Germany has approximately 12,000 wineries.
  • Tsillan Cellars named Washington Winery of the Year for 2020.