Lacey and Charlie Lybecker, Diffraction Wines

Charlie and Lacey Lybecker will open Diffraction this summer in Manson, Washington, located in the Lake Chelan appellation. The couple envisions the space as part tasting room, part arcade, and part community gathering spot.

“There’s not a lot of super family-friendly places in downtown Manson,” says Lacey Lybecker. “We wanted to make a really fun hangout spot.”

In addition to wine, Diffraction will have pinball machines, standup arcade games, and a sit-down, Ms. Pacman-style table. It also has an “Infinity table” where people can play board games digitally, including everything from Chutes and Ladders to Trivial Pursuit.

The idea for the space was born when Ancestry Cellars announced that the winery would be closing its Manson tasting room. That same day, the Lybeckers had a planning meeting for Diffraction, one of the couple’s wine brands.

“I walked into the meeting and said ‘Hey guys, I have a crazy idea. What if we opened a Diffraction tasting room, and we had root beer floats, hard ice cream, and retro video games?’” Charlie says. “Everyone loved the idea.” The Diffraction facility will be located in the former Ancestry space.

The Lybeckers started Diffraction in 2017 as part of their primary label, Cairdeas (pronounced car-diss). All of the Cairdeas wines come from free run juice. The Diffraction wines are made from press juice.

“The name [Diffraction] literally came from watching the red wine come out of the press and watching that juice diffract light all over the place,” says Charlie.

Several years after launching the wine, the couple spun Diffraction off into a separate label. They also added a rosé and, in 2022, a white wine.

“The goal is just to make a really high quality red, rose, and white that we can offer at a great price,” Charlie says.

The Diffraction wines generally go into distribution. The pricing makes the wines accessible to a wider group of consumers. Additionally, restaurants are able to sell the wines by the glass.

However, one day a year – Diffraction Day – the Lybeckers hold an event and sell the wine out of the Cairdeas tasting room. “People would literally drive from Seattle for the day to come to the event and buy 12 cases of wine, one case a month for the next year,” Charlie says. “We built a buzz around it.”

Diffraction has also helped raise greater awareness of the Cairdeas wines. “We’ve actually had people who have fallen in love with Diffraction and now become Cairdeas wine club members,” Charlie says.

As for the new Diffraction space, the entire Lybecker family is excited about the opportunity. This includes the couple’s two children, ages 10 and 12.

“When we told our kids that we were opening an arcade they about lost their minds,” Charlie says. “I want to make a place that I can feel comfortable taking my kids to.”

The Diffraction facility is approximately 1200-square feet and has a small outdoor patio. The Lybeckers plan to officially open it in early July.

Image courtesy of Diffraction.

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