The first days of spring have shown off with utter delight. Hello, sun! Hello, allergies! But as Oregon does, the pendulum between drizzly and cloudless days has begun its slow back-and-forth. For Willamette Valley vineyards, this begins the captivating wait for bud break. Bud break is when delicate flowers and leaves begin to pop up on wineries’ vines, bringing us one important step closer to this year’s crop of grapes.
Of course, bud break doesn’t happen all at once. Waiting for the little buds to peek out can be a waiting game and—depending on an array of factors—can happen at different vineyards within the northern Willamette Valley during a range of dates, typically rolling out at a more feverish pace in mid-April. We are excitedly using bud break as an excuse to visit different wineries. Let’s call it “bud break watch.”
Perhaps to keep their hands and minds busy in the weeks leading up to bud break, Oak Knoll Winery has been keeping a busy calendar. While you won’t catch bud break at the winery, its barrage of art-and-wine nights may inspire a similar level of awe.
Each Saturday and Sunday, wine lovers can sign up for a Grand Tasting and Tour with Blizzard Wines ($35 per person). The winery’s frosty name does not translate to the spring tide vibes of this elegant and in-depth wine education.
Another winery who wants to watch the seasons change with you is Raptor Ridge Winery. The property’s spring calendar is filled with weekday yoga classes. The tasting room’s heated floors and panoramic views of the vineyard outside are more than worthy of a peaceful Namaste.
The North Willamette Wine Trail Weekend (April 13-14) is one way to search for signs of bud break from 20 purveyors of Willamette Valley wines. Whether you see the sweet little buds or not, the Wine Trail promises lots of special sightings and activities.
To streamline your tour of Willamette Valley bud break, book the wine package with The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport. With your hotel booking, you get complimentary tastings at multiple local wineries. We’ll cheers to that!