How lucky are we to have one of the most amazing wine growing regions right here in our very own back yard? Oregon is home to over 900 vineyards and counting and grapes have been growing here since the early 1800s. It is really no surprise that grapes love it here, as Oregon straddles the 45th Parallel like many of the European wine regions including Bordeaux and Burgundy in France. With over 2 million cases of wine produced here annually it makes sense that Oregon wine tours have become a go-to activity for Oregonians and visitors alike.
The wine region directly outside of Portland, Oregon is surrounded by 7 Willamette Valley AVAs and is host to over 500 wineries! Whether you are visiting the Portland area or a local considering a wine tour adventure in the Willamette Valley, it can be difficult to know where to begin. As a wine tour company based out of Beaverton, Oregon, it is our job to know where one should start their Willamette Valley wine tasting adventure. There are many wineries that we love to stop at on our wine tours and several of them are just a hop, skip and a jump outside of Portland and we would like to share a bit about a few.
Hawks View Cellars (http://www.hawksviewcellars.com) is a winery we believe should not be missed! Located in the Chehalem Mountains, Hawks View Cellars is only thirty minutes from downtown Portland and offers an amazing sweeping view of the valley with the cascade mountains as a backdrop. The warm, cozy tasting room offers areas for lounging in leather chairs to enjoy the view as well as soaring ceilings and a large marble tasting bar. Outside, the patio offers room where one can relax and chat with friends, play a game of cornhole or just kick back in the Adirondack chairs and take in the breathtaking view.
Also located in Sherwood and offering gorgeous panoramic views of the Willamette Valley and Mt. Hood is Blakeslee Vineyards. The quaint outdoor “Piazza”, is a perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine paired with a taste of food from daily small plate offerings while nestled up next to the large fireplace or patio heaters. Open daily from 11am to 5pm for general tastings and tours, we highly recommend a stop at Blakeslee. Vineyards.(www.http://blakesleevineyard.com)
Just around the corner in Newberg, Oregon, you will find a micro-boutique winery we also feel is worthy of a stop! Open by appointment only, you must call in advance. Bells Up Winery (www.http://bellsupwinery.com) offers handcrafted, classically-styled Oregon Pinot Noir and also a small selection of other Oregon-grown and produced varietals. The wine tasting experience here is truly up close and personal and the wines we know will be on the top of your favorites list.
It can be truly overwhelming when you look at a list of the nearly thousand Oregon wineries you can visit. We think the best bet is to let the experts be your guide. Vino Ventures offers both group tours as well as private tours and we would love to create the perfect wine tasting adventure for you. For more about Vino Ventures, visit www.vinoventures.com, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Instagram or Twitter.