Fall is one of the best times of the year to visit the many wineries in the Pacific Northwest, a region that’s become of the country’s premier wine destinations. In fact, Oregon Pinot Noir was named the very best in the nation in 2012, and Washington and Oregon’s wine are frequently named among Wine Spectactor’s annual top 100 list.
From the Columbia River Gorge to Willamette Valley and north to the Puget Sound, sample some of the best of the best on a trip through the region’s top wineries.
Stoller Vineyards, Dayton, Oregon
Just outside of Portland in Dayton, Stoller Vineyards hosts a solar-powered tasting room with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooks an especially picturesque landscape. You can take a private tour that will allow you to explore the entire property, including the cellar and the winery followed by a wine flight paired with a variety of locally sourced cheese. If you want to stick around, the vineyard even featured vacation homes for overnight stays, all of which offer jaw-dropping vistas of the property, lavish amenities and a welcome bottle of award-winning Pinot Noir.
Willamette Valley Vineyards, Turner, Oregon
Oregon’s largest winery is located in the heart of the state’s wine country, a region that’s filled with berry farms, hop fields and vineyards. Willamette Valley Vineyards has been named one of the world’s top 100 wineries, and is renowned for its Pinot Noir, but also offers Pinot Blanc, Riesling and Chardonnay. Visitors can enjoy tastings and a complimentary tour every afternoon at 2 p.m.
Adelsheim Vineyard, Newberg, Oregon
At the north end of the Willamette Valley you’ll find Adelsheim , one of Oregon’s founding wineries. It planted its very first vineyard in the early 1970s, and today, the estate includes many of the very best vineyard sites in the entire valley, spread across some 230 acres. Also known for its Pinot Noirs, private wine tastings are offered in the dining room, and paired with regional, seasonal cuisine.
Phelps Creek Vineyards and Cathedral Ridge Winery, Hood River, Oregon
Take a scenic drive on the Columbia Gorge Fruit Loop, which travels 35 miles from the foothills of Mount Hood, passing vineyards and orchards alongside the grand Columbia River, to Phelps Creek Vineyards in Hood River. Here you can enjoy tastings, including the daily wine flight which features Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Just up the road at Cathedral Ridge Winery, tours and tastings are available by appointment. For the best of the best, book the “Connoisseur Tasting” which includes both cellar and barrel tastings, current and reserve wines served with gourmet cuisine, along with a cellar master guide that will regale you with the history, as well as the current and future production of the winery.
Maryhill Winery, Goldendale Washington
This sprawling winery is on the other side of the river, sitting on top of a bluff that overlooks Mount Hood and the water. During the summer months, it hosts live concerts in an outdoor amphitheater, and year round you can enjoy sampling fine wines in the tasting room.
Woodinville Warehouse District, Woodinville, Washington
There are a number of wineries within an easy drive of Seattle too. In fact, there are some 40 wineries within a mile to be found at the Woodinville Warehouse District. here you’ll have the chance to talk to the winemakers in many of the tasting rooms, and perhaps even watch one of the founders mashing grapes.
If you’re looking for the ultimate wine vacation, be sure to check out America’s World Hub Tours, which frequently hosts wine tasting tours, including some that are combined with a cruise!