Oregon Wine Country
There’s something about wine country that makes you feel like you’ve travelled to another part of the world. The way the landscape changes from rugged mountains to rolling hills, the way the fog hangs thick around the tall trees in the early morning light, and the way the warm yellow villas top the grape-lined hills. It’s almost as if you slept through a multi hour plane ride and awoke in the Tuscan countryside. Bello.
Only, it’s not Italy—It’s Oregon. And, it’s just as good, if not better, than any distant European vino hot spot. Oregon is home to not only some of the country’s best wines, but some of the world’s best Pinot noirs, and the epicentre of Oregon wine country lies in the Willamette Valley. The Valley holds a microclimate and soil type that make it just right for the sensitive grapes, which helps in the production of award winning wines.
My time in wine country started with an appetizing lunch at the Allison Inn & Spa’s Jory Restaurant, followed by a tour and tasting at ultra-modern Winderlea Vineyard & Winery with a view. My favourite experience in wine country was spending the night at the Black Walnut Inn & Vineyard. I woke to a fiery sunrise coming up over Mt. Hood and sweeping across the misty Willamette Valley as it came to life, before enjoying a delicious breakfast of an arugula and roasted tomato egg white frittata with ingredients from the local farmers market. It was the perfect start to another day of wine tours, including stops at King Estate Winery, Sweet Cheeks Winery and the Oregon Wine Labs.
Oregon wine country is unlike anywhere else in the State, and anywhere else in the entire country for that matter. In under an hour drive, visitors can find themselves outside of the concrete jungle and happily sipping on a glass of wine in the warm Willamette Valley sunshine. If you don’t want to worry about designating a driver for the evening, I highly recommend a night at the Black Walnut Inn and a visit to any of the local Red Hills of Dundee wineries. These hills are easily the most visually stunning region of the Valley. Come prepared to taste a lot of good wine eat more incredible food than you think you can manage and head home feeling mentally refreshed and ready to take on another week at work. Oregon wine country is the perfect weekend escape, happy tasting!