Explore the Territorial Wine Trail
Take a scenic drive on the Territorial Wine Trail this fall
It’s time to take in the beautiful colors and crisp air Oregon is known for. One must-stop on a wine-lover’s fall list should be the South Willamette Valley’s Territorial Wine Trail.
This scenic route is often overlooked by drivers on I-5. The next time you’re on the corridor, pull off the busy interstate and take this 40-mile drive through scenic wine country. Starting from West Eugene, visitors can make their way by scenic stops like the West Eugene Wetlands and Fern Ridge Lake as they head south to tackle the trail.
- One of the first stops is at Sweet Cheeks winery. Here, rolling hills wait to greet you along with the winery’s signature Pinot and Riesling selection. If you arrive on a Friday evening, you might even catch some live music.
- Next, make a stop at Iris Vineyard, where more sweeping mountain views await your arrival. This winery is a hub for handcrafted Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Don’t miss this opportunity to sip while you take in the view from their beautiful porches.
- Cap off the journey south off with a stop at King Estate, just west of Cottage Grove. An excellent spot for an elegant dinner and lush views, this winery is internationally renowned for their Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. King Estate’s wines can only be matched with the incredible view of the 1,033 acres of organic grapes and the food at their on-site restaurant. When it comes to a scenic dinner, it’s tough to beat King Estate.
- For a nice view on the way back, head east toward Cottage Grove’s covered bridges. This little town is known as the “Covered Bridge Capital of the West,” and visitors often enjoy hitting a select handful of these on a loop. Start near Currin Covered Bridge, tour through Mosby and Stewart, then end up at Chambers Bridge, near downtown Cottage Grove. This loop can be done in 30 – 60 minutes, and is a perfect route by car or bike.
Itching for a longer excursion? Find a list of all the South Willamette Wineries and wine country adventures at: www.eugenecascadescoast.org/wine-country.