It’s true: wine tasting can get monotonous. Stop here, pour that, taste these, repeat. But in the Pacific Northwest, a haven for adventurists as well as creatives and innovators, wineries step up their game and pour not just to please palates but to create an experience to remember. Here are five Oregon wineries to take it next level with.
The Cave Tour at Archery Summit
A must-do in the Willamette Valley, the cave tour at Archery Summit feels like an archeological adventure. An eye-catching slab of ancient basalt — still dripping water from the subterranean aquifer — greets you before sitting down to an expansive tasting of estate Pinot Noirs and a cavernous trek to the adjacent production facility.
Antiquum Farm Tour
Modeled around grazing-based viticulture, Antiquum Farm is a highly sustainable vineyard tended by Stephen Hagen and his well-trained sheep, geese and chickens. A delightfully informal yet informative tour walks you through the vines on his gorgeous Junction City property and finishes with deeply flavored estate Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir in the living room of his self-built home.
Cliff Creek Cellars’ Nose Your Way Through
Polish your palate at Cliff Creek Cellars with a highly sensory educational tasting. Aromatics and flavor elements are interspersed with house wines to outfit you with the ability to not only appreciate good wine, but describe it with confidence.
Run For The Oaks at Left Coast Cellars
Running is all the more enjoyable in picturesque vineyards with the promise of wine at the finish line. Left Coast’s event offers three options — a 5K trail walk, 5K trail run and 10K trail run — amid the rolling hills of Rickreall with proceeds benefiting a growing and noble movement to restore oak savannas to Willamette Valley wine country.
Tasting in Jacksonville
Oregon’s charming and uber-historic Jacksonville boasts five wineries within walking distance of downtown. Drink in what this former Gold Rush town has to offer with spirited stops at Quady North, Dancin Vineyards, Daisy Creek, Caprice and South Stage Cellars.