Savor the Tastes and Sights of Oregon’s Wine Country
When talking about modern day Oregon pioneers, Tualatin Valley’s winemakers come top of mind. While many local wineries employ cutting-edge techniques, the vibe at each one is always decidedly warm and inviting. Any time of year—from a half day to a whole weekend—there is no wrong way to discover the wineries of the northern Willamette Valley.
Before all the wine tasting, fill your belly with homey bites from the South Store Cafe. With house-made pastries and fruits grown a stone’s throw away, your breakfast will really be on its a-game. Favorite dishes include the rustic Italian torta and nutty granola.
Filled with the sustenance you need to conquer your day of wine tasting, head to Ponzi Vineyards and its sweeping beauty of the Chehalem Mountains. The modern architecture of the new tasting room provides a majestic setting to take in the view and taste stellar wine from one of Oregon’s most esteemed wineries. The indoor fireplace creates an intimate atmosphere, encouraging visitors to linger a little longer with a cheese plate for a light lunch.
Next stop is Raptor Ridge Winery where you might see—you guessed it—a native raptor gliding over the vineyard’s vines. The winery specializes in hand-grown single vineyard Pinot Noir and vineyard-specific barrels that simply must be tasted. With over 20 vintages behind them, Raptor Ridge continually puts out bottles that you’ll want to take home by the case-full.
Your next sip will not be of wine, but rather of a delicious milkshake from Smith Berry Barn. This idyllic farm and garden market has u-pick options when berries are in season and an adorable farm store to meander on more drizzly days.
End the day at Hawks View Cellars. The 50-acre estate vineyard has been sustainably farming its vines of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris since 1991. Their loving care to the land and what it grows results in award-winning wines that embody the spirit of Oregon winemakers.
Be sure to book restful accommodations during your packed wine tasting weekend. The Residence Inn – Portland Hillsboro/Brookwood provides a special package that includes two free wine tastings and local chocolate.
With more than 30 wineries, there are plenty of wine country trips you can plan. For more inspiration, check out the eco-friendly wine tour.