Oregon’s winemaking story began in the 19th century and has continued to develop and grow; and the Willamette Valley has contributed to a large part of that growth. Washington County, considered the gateway to Oregon Wine country boasts more than 35 wineries and tasting rooms. Sometimes called a “Mini Napa”, the North Willamette Valley has grown in popularity in recent years and the spirit of the winemakers is alive and well. Geographically near the same latitude as the Burgundy region of France, the region boasts soil that is excellent for varieties of grapes that thrive in cooler climates, such as Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Riesling.
Beaverton and Hillsboro are two popular destinations located in the Tualatin Valley and together they offer more than enough tasting options to tackle in one day. Ponzi Vineyards (www.ponziwines.com) and Cooper Mountain Vineyards (www.coopermountainwine.com), both located in Beaverton are considered to be pioneers in winemaking in the area and are ranked high on our must visit list. In Hillsboro, you can schedule a private tasting at Freja Cellars (www.frejacellars.com) which is a family owned and operated vineyard and boutique winery that offers an outstanding Pinot Noir, or hop into the cute little cottage style tasting room at Helvetia Winery (www.helvetiawinery.com) also offering an outstanding Pinot Noir and a fabulous Chardonnay.
With so many amazing wineries to choose from, how do you decide where to visit? If you know which varietals you want to focus on or a specific area you would like to stay in, we can help. With spring in the air, there is no better time to get out and explore the richness of Willamette Valley wineries. We look forward to taking you out and about to taste some fantastic Oregon wines!