Chalet Debonne is known for drawing a crowd. The sprawling compound is home to a winery with a tasting room, bar area and a stage for musicians, plus an attached brewery (Cellar Rats) with a brand-new vaulted tasting room. The building just off the massive patio functions for parties and events. During nice weather you’ll see guests relaxing at one of the many picnic tables, grabbing food from the outdoor Grill at Debonne or wandering the grassy grounds surrounding the winery. Unless it’s the first weekend in June, in which case those fields will be filled with hot-air balloons for the annual rally. Even on a sleepy weekday afternoon there’s a good chance you can hear live music and find a full house dancing and singing along to local musicians.
The party really picks up in March during the region's annual Ice Wine Festival. This stop on the tour features two ice carvers, a sled dog demonstration and even an ice wine martini bar ($3). Festival sampling takes place in the party building just off the main winery. With a rowdy crowd of regulars already holding court in the main building, the separation is a welcome relief.
Overall, Debonne performs the neat trick of offering plenty in the way of attractions for a wide range of visitors while still providing one of the most laid-back atmospheres in this region.