Though not as famous or perpetually sunny as Napa Valley, Oregon’s scattered wine countries boast acres upon acres of fertile ground that lend themselves to rich-yet-versatile wines. Visitors to these wineries will enjoy some of the region’s most full-bodied flavors in tasting rooms nestled amidst the state’s verdant natural wonders. The diverse soil composition lends itself as well to wine as it does food, splitting the region into multiple unique viticultural areas where vineyards can grow many different varietals. Here are five wineries where visitors can experience the bounty of Oregon’s scattered wine countries.
Flights and a View
Penner-Ash Wine Cellars
15771 NE Ribbon Ridge Rd
Newberg, OR 97132
: 4.5 stars, 45 reviews
Cozy up beside the fireplace or lounge on the deck to enjoy the amazing views of a valley dotted with vibrant seasonal wildflowers at Penner-Ash. Fifteen dollars pays for a flight of five varietals grown at their vineyards throughout Oregon’s various wine countries, including a bold Syrah and a sweet but not cloying local Riesling. Visitors can also see the impressive fermentation setup of their three-tiered winemaking building.
Buy a bottle of your favorite Penner-Ash wine after purchasing a flight, and the friendly servers will be happy to reimburse you for the initial $15 cost.
The Hills Are Alive
17090 NE Woodland Loop Rd
Yamhill, OR 97148
Gran Moraine’s window-walled tasting room overlooks a vista of rolling hills covered with vineyards that light up whenever the coastal fog clears. They use their fertile location to focus on rich Burgundian varietals like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Expect this somewhat new winery to keep expanding its roster of high-quality wines, beginning with the December 3 release of their first Brut Rose.
Gran Moraine is within walking distance to another of Yamhill’s best wineries, the homey lakeside cabin of Solena Estate.
Sips in the City
1416 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97214
: 4 stars, 20 reviews
Rather than a vineyard amidst rolling hills, Enso Winery is located in a garage in Portland’s Buckman neighborhood, an intimate urban setting that lets the owners sell their wines for cheap. The grapes are sourced from various wineries throughout Oregon, California and Washington and then fermented with stainless steel tanks behind the cozy, wood-accented tasting room. Local beers are also available for those eager to sample Portland’s booming craft brewery scene.
Enso also boasts delicious food platters sourced from neighboring businesses, including deli meats from Olympic Provisions, cheese from Cheese Bar, and fresh bread from Little T Baker.
Between Mount Hood and Hood River
3189 Hwy 35
Hood River, OR 97031
: 4.5 stars, 32 reviews
Between Hood River and Mount Hood lies Wy’East Vineyards, a winery affording views of that dramatic snow-capped peak from their dual bocce ball courts and a comfortable patio surrounded by lush greenery. The personable winery owners are usually on-hand, along with their equally friendly dogs, to share the stories and tasting notes behind signature varietals like their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
For another kind of liquor made from local produce, visit Fox Tail Cider’s taproom just a half-mile up the road from Wy’East.
Oregonian, not French
Domaine Drouhin Oregon
6750 Breyman Orchards Rd
Dayton, OR 97114
: 4.5 stars, 98 reviews
Maintaining ties to their family origins in Burgundy, the Drouhin family continues their tradition of quality winemaking in Oregon’s own Dundee hills, where they combine new world technology with an old-fashioned attention to detail. Grapes go through a four-story gravity flow winery to create their trademark Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, which are then served in the tasting room alongside cheese and crackers.
A $40 estate tour lets visitors see the process in action before enjoying a comparative tasting of the same varietals, some from grapes grown in France and some from Oregon.