Updated: Sep 3, 2020
Tips for navigating a successful trip to beautiful Oregon wine country.
All over the Willamette Valley and Columbia River Gorge, more wineries are open and waiting to show off their product.
Here are some tips to help you make your next trip the most successful yet.
Hire a driver:
Chances are you will be tasting more wine then you expect and drinking earlier in the day then you might be used to, and this can catch up to you fast. Wineries in the area could be spread out or down winding country roads. Take the hassle out of the day and let us do the driving for you. As a touring company, Vino Ventures is more than happy to set up your visits and take you to the destinations.
Focus on the smaller wineries:
Seek out the places off of the beaten path, where you can spend more quality time with the people behind the bar, or even the winemakers themselves. There is something nice about visiting the places with wines that you don't normally see in your local supermarket.
Whether you bring your own food, plan to pick up lunch from a nearby restaurant, or enjoy charcuterie and cheese plates served by wineries, make sure you are snacking along your way through wine country. While one tasting may not seem like much, by the time you reach the second or third winery, you will definitely be wanting sometime else in your stomach besides wine.
No need to be shy, the people behind the bar are knowledgeable, will appreciate your interest in the product, and you will learn a lot of great information. Get to know the soil, where the grapes were grown, the type of barrel it's fermented in, and what type of food it would pair well with. Be polite while talking to them, especially at the smaller wineries where you could be taking directly to the winemaker.
Bring the kids, but make sure they have something to do:
Wine country is beautiful and in Oregon it is nice to find something to do outdoors during the sunny days. And if you are a parent, it can be hard and expensive to find a sitter for the day. A lot of wineries are accommodating to kids, as long as they aren't disturbing anyone else's tasting room experience. So make sure to bring books, coloring materials, and other things to keep them occupied.
Know how you are taking the wine home:
It is a nice gesture to buy a bottle or two but remember to bring an empty box (you can pick one up from any local store), this way you won't have bottles rolling around in the back of the car. If you live out of state, ask the wineries if they can ship the wine back to you. Most states allow shipping wine over state lines and even some airlines will let you check it as well.