Jackson Bottom Wetlands
Hagg Lake (Main) CREDIT Paul Loofburrow
Jim and Holly Witt of A Blooming Hill Vineyard in Cornelius, Oregon

Ask a Local: Holly and Jim Witte


rice glow in the dark

Spring Magic with
A Blooming Hill Vineyard

May ushers in a spring bounty of happy clovers, yawning irises, bright azaleas and bud break making way for bud blooms. In short, May likes to show off. A Blooming Hill Vineyard lives up to its name in May. The wineries owners, Holly and Jim Witte are partial to May, too, as the month holds their wedding anniversary and tasting room anniversary.

After stints in Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles, Jim found himself in the rural roads of Cornelius, Oregon. After a long career in TV production, Jim was ready for a retirement project that was a different sort of picture-perfect: vineyard life. Inspired by the memories of his Midwestern fruit farmer grandfather, Jim set out to make wine.

Coming from her own cosmopolitan background, Holly joined Jim in matrimony and the winemaking business in 2006. As Holly puts it, “When we got married, Jim checked off wife and marketing!”

Together, Jim and Holly have perfected the balance of making great wine and a welcoming environment in which to enjoy it. Jim follows his intuition, saying, “I love it when the wines first emerge from the roughness of the grape juice and I have a hint that it will be a good vintage…It’s fulfilling to see all of the hands-on labor yielding the bounty of the land.”

The resulting wine is well paired with fresh-baked peanut butter cookies, which Holly bakes especially for the tasting room. It’s hard not to be charmed by the thoughtful touches of the wine tasting experience here.

As May flaunts itself, Holly and Jim marvel at how beautiful A Blooming Hill Vineyard is at this time of year. The magnolia tree leads the way with its blooms, but is quickly followed by the camellias, daffodils, irises, weeping cherry trees, and fruit trees. We encourage a leisurely wine tasting on A Blooming Hill’s patio. A chill passing through? The cozy fire tables are there to warm you.

As Tualatin Valley locals since 2000 and 2006 respectively, Jim and Holly are well-versed in not only wine but also the best food, nature reserves, and museums in the area. We asked the couple to share their picks in their own words:

Take a Romantic Stroll through Nature
Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

One of our favorite features is the eagle’s nest in the museum, as well as the chickens you might encounter on your walk! We had early dates walking in the wetlands.

Take a Dip-and-Zip Outdoor Outing
Hagg Lake and Tree to Tree Adventure Park

The beauty of our area is beyond description. A perfect place to take a walk and soak it all in, Hagg Lake is a must stop. It’s so close to Tree to Tree Adventure Park, which is where you swing through the trees on a zip line (not that we plan to do that, but we love the people who built it and we admire the people who fly through the forest!).

Become a Rock Hound
Rice Northwest Museum

I must admit, I thought it was a museum about rice when I first moved to Oregon but discovered, eventually, that it is a fantastic collection of rocks and minerals placed in the original home built by the Rice family. I like the buildings at least as much because it is a perfect example of mid-century modern architecture. Don’t miss the room where all the rocks glow!

As true experts in wine, hospitality and Tualatin Valley, we trust Holly and Jim’s recommendations whole-heartedly!

Wineries in Tualatin Valley

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