No, cellars do not have skylights. In fact the new Skylite Cellars Winery is not a typical cave cellar. So how did it all come about? Chuck and wife Jean have been world travelers for over six decades and that certainly led to an home full of art, artifacts, collectibles, and distinctive treasures were beginning to crowd the Nelson’s lovely home. Tom, Cheryl and Chuck went real-estate shopping in downtown Walla Walla in search of a suitable place for the Nelsons to display these marvelous items.
The historic 1908 Quinn building on North 2nd Ave had promising possibilities but was certainly a scary prospect. Formerly the building had been divided into 19 tiny rooms and with an artificially dropped ceiling about 6 ½ feet from the main floor! Chuck and family began to renovate the building themselves, starting with tearing down walls, propping up ceilings and stripping the walls back to their original brick foundation. Cheryl insisted that the upstairs area be further enlarged, so she took the initiative, took hold of a saw and began to have her way. To everyone’s amazement, century old sky lights were uncovered. The entire roof was a magnificent grouping of antique hinged windows which allowed glorious natural light to pour in. What more could a gallery hope for?
So, first came the Skylite Gallery, then the family vineyard was christened Skylite, and lastly came the winery, Skylite Cellars.