Now home to the Arbor Crest Winery, the Royal Riblet Estate was built in 1925 by inventor/entrepreneur and bike enthusiast, Royal N. Riblet with the assistance of architect George Keith. It sits over 400 feet above the Spokane Valley and, for that reason, is also known as Cliff House. As a winery, it currently hosts wine tastings, tours, summer concerts and weddings.
to the area via Iowa and South Dakota to join his brother Byron, who had
founded the Riblet Tramway Company. The
brothers made their fortune by improving upon pervious tramway designs and then
manufacturing and selling them to the numerous mines and mining companies in
the area. It was with money from the
tramway company that Riblet decided to build his new residence atop a basalt
three-story Florentine mansion was just the beginning of the additions Riblet
had in mind for his unique home. He soon
added an arched gate house, 6,000 gallon pool, a croquet court that doubled as
an ice rink in winter, a stone foot bridge, gazebo, and a 16’ x 16’
checkerboard. For many years, the only
way to access the estate was via a 5-person tramway that ferried people across
the Spokane River and up the cliff side that has since been removed. Riblet resided at his estate until his death
in 1960. It was designated a National
Historic Landmark in 1979.
was purchased by the Arbor Crest Wine Company in 1984 and has served as their
headquarters ever since. It continues to
offer picturesque views of downtown Spokane, Liberty Lake and the Spokane River
regardless of one’s predilection for wine.
It is open year round and hosts over 35,000 visitors per year. However, no children are among those numbers
as the minimum age to enter the property is 21.