Travel Story Ideas & Itineraries
Tualatin Valley is a diverse destination, with a variety of different attractions that appeal to a wide demographic of travelers.
Whether you are looking for feature story ideas or a story round-up, explore some of the story ideas and themes below:
Tualatin Valley Wine/Wineries: More Than Pinot Noir
Situated in the northern edge of the famed Willamette Valley Wine, Tualatin Valley boasts more than 30 estate wineries, some of which have been growing wine grapes for 50 years, and others that have been producing wine for just a few years. While the Willamette Valley, in particular, is known for its Pinot Noir, it’s the many unique varietals that are making a splash. Many of Tualatin Valley’s winemakers are inspired and influenced by the styles, varietals and winemaking techniques from the “Old World.” Taste what happens when the “Old World” pairs with Oregonian winemaking on a tour of unique varietals.
- Raptor Ridge Winery: Tempranillo, Grüner Veltliner, and Auxerrois
- Oak Knoll Winery: Maker of sweet wines, and the only place in the Tualatin Valley where you will find the delicious nectar of berry wines.
- Apolloni Vineyards: Maker of Italian-style wines and the only winery in Tualatin Valley that makes a Pinot Grigio (they also make a Pinot Gris) and Sangiovese.
- Ponzi Vineyards: Maker of Italian wines, including Dolcetto and Arneis
Pioneering Black-Owned Businesses in Tualatin Valley
Tualatin Valley is home to a handful of Black-owned culinary businesses. Abbey Creek Winery, owned by Bertony Faustin, broke new ground more than 10 years ago when Faustin became the first Black winemaker on record in Oregon. Seattle-based Ezell’s Famous Chicken (opened February 2020), and counts Oprah Winfrey as a fan, chose Tualatin Valley for its first Oregon location. Mamancy Tea Co. (opened March 2020) showcases specially curated, fair trade teas and chocolates at the shop in Central Hillsboro. Hue Noir Cosmetics, a makeup manufacturer and distributor of products designed for women of color, opened its facility here in Tualatin Valley more than 10 years ago.
Japanese Influence on Tualatin Valley
The cultural richness of this area is best explored by Tualatin Valley’s culinary offerings. As the most culturally diverse county in the state of Oregon, Japanese influences can be found at myriad culinary destinations throughout the region. Fun and tasty Japanese creations await at Beaverton’s Oyatsupan Bakers, while the city sees the emergence of chain ramen shops from Japan, such as Afuri Izakaya and Kukai Ramen (also known as Kizuki Ramen). Uwajimaya, an Asian grocery, sells foods and other wares from Japan, anime from its Kinokuniya Bookstore, diners will enjoy cream puffs from Beard Papa’s and ramen from Ramen Ryoma. In the city of Forest Grove, many Japanese traditions of crafting premium sake can be tasted at SakeOne, the first American owned-and-operated sake brewery.
Oregon Wine Pioneers
As the Willamette Valley gains continued attention for its critically acclaimed Pinot Noir, the Tualatin Valley has an important role in the history of Oregon’s wine story. From Dick and Nancy Ponzi (who founded Ponzi Vineyards), who are among the oft-cited pioneers of Oregon Pinot Noir, to Oak Knoll Winery, which started as a berry wine producer in 1970. Before “sustainability” became a buzzword, the family-owned Cooper Mountain Vineyards pioneered growing grapes using biodynamic principals and producing organic wines in the Willamette Valley. They were the first to be certified biodynamic, and were among one of the earliest to be certified organic.
Escape from the City
Tualatin Valley is located just minutes from downtown Portland and boasts the closest wine country to the city of Portland. Within 20-40 minutes, visitors can explore and enjoy the offerings of rural u-pick farms, estate wineries, nature parks and preserves, or take a scenic drive along the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route.
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