7 Places to Sip Wine Between the Wonders
When you’re trekking between Oregon’s 7 Wonders this spring, fuel your wanderings with a taste of Oregon’s legendary craft beverage scene. Whether it’s a hand-crafted Pinot noir or a flavorful craft brew that you crave, the Willamette Valley is a powerhouse when it comes to artisan food and drink, and it’s centrally located on your way from Wonder to Wonder.
Take this craft beverage road trip and sip your way between the Wonders–we guarantee your taste buds will thank you.
Sip: After you’ve explored the Columbia River Gorge and the slopes of Mt. Hood, head for the valley. Nestled near the small town of Canby in Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory is St. Josef’s Winery. Walk through their rose garden, sit beside the lake and unwind with a classic Oregon Pinot noir or food-friendly Pinot gris. Feel the serenity begin to sink in–you’ve arrived in Oregon wine country.
Sip: No trip to Oregon is complete without a pilgrimage to the Yamhill Valley. It’s the birthplace of Oregon Pinot noir–the spot where, 50 years ago, a brave soul name David Lett planted the first Pinot vines in the Willamette Valley. Today his son Jason carries on the family legacy at The Eyrie Vineyards. Stop, taste, and look around. This is where it all began.
Stay: Not far from the Eyrie tasting room in McMinnville is Hotel Oregon, a funky renovated historic hotel and part of the wider McMenamins chain. Stay in one of their quirky rooms and enjoy a drink in one of the four bars onsite.
Sip: Take Highway 99W south through rolling green hills to the small town of Amity, where you’ll find Coelho Winery, a welcoming spot in a historic renovated building. Taste Pinot noir as well as wines made in the Portuguese tradition, an homage to the Coelho family’s Portuguese heritage.
Sip: Next head to Salem, where you can educate your taste buds with a trip to The Campus, Gilgamesh Brewing‘s beer oasis in Salem. Oregon is know for craft beers bursting with flavor and personality, and Gilgamesh is a perfect spot to start your beer exploration.
Stay: The Grand Hotel in located in Salem’s historic downtown area, walking distance to great restaurants, boutiques, and coffee shops.
Sip: In Albany, the Calapooia Brewing Co. offers a cozy haven for craft brews, pub food, and live music on the weekends. Grab a seat on the covered atrium when the weather’s nice. If you’re there on a weekend, the brunch menu is a must.
Sip: Next head west to Corvallis, where Block 15 Brewing is leading a sustainable-brewing revolution. Locally-sourced food and beer ingredients are just the starting point for this brewpub, which makes sure that for every gallon of water they use to brew, a gallon of water is diverted back to rivers in need.
Stay: The Hanson Country Inn is a beautiful bed & breakfast located on a small estate just outside of town.
From Corvallis, you can take a side trip west to view another of Oregon’s 7 Wonders: The Oregon Coast–or you can continue the tasting journey south to Eugene.
Sip: WildCraft Cider Works is reviving the centuries-old tradition of artisan cider-making. Working with local orchards (some of them dating back to the pioneer-era) the cider-makers at WildCraft hand-pick and sort their fruit to create truly unique hard ciders. Their downtown Eugene tasting room features 10 WildCraft ciders on tap, a tasting menu of imported ciders, and delicious local cuisine.
Stay: The Inn at the Fifth is a boutique hotel located just six blocks from WildCraft and only steps from the Fifth Street Market, home to charming boutiques and world-class restaurants.
From Eugene, you have several choices to continue checking stops off your 7 Wonders bucket list. Head south to Crater Lake. Or east, where you can explore Smith Rock, the Painted Hills, and the Wallowas. No matter where you go, grab a bottle (or two) to take home, and keep exploring.