This is the second part of a five part series featuring day trip itineraries in Oregon’s wine country. Each itinerary features 4-5 wineries within driving distance of each other near a city or accommodations hub.
From delicious urban tasting rooms to wineries with mouth-watering views of the Columbia River and Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge knows how to pair its wines so that both forms of nature can be savored in unison. Hub: Hood River or The Dalles
Day Trip 1: Hood River
Driving in east from Portland on I-84, the first stop on this tasting route is Cathedral Ridge Winery. Not far from the highway just before Hood River proper, this winery features a huge variety of wines from big reds like Syrah and its Rock Star Red Reserve to white wines both dry and sweet. Open daily from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., November to May and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., June – October.
Next head to the boutique winery, Phelps Creek Vineyards. Producing only 5,000 cases each year, the winery focuses on creating Pinot noir, Chardonnay and a handful of other varietals. Open daily, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. $5 tasting fee.
Afterward soak in the beautiful valley views surrounding Mt. Hood as you weave through this lush produce growing region while on your way to Mt. Hood Winery. With the saying “come for the wine, stay for the view,” this winery does just that. Sip a glass of their wine while enjoying a new angle on the majestic mountain.
Finally finish the day tasting at The Pines 1852 in downtown before grabbing a bite to eat and settling in for the evening with a glass or two of your day’s purchases. While at The Pines make sure to sample their Zinfandel. Not many Oregon wineries pour such a powerful, delicious red while keeping the flavors delicate and purely northwest in style.
Day Trip 2: The Dalles
Just a short bridge drive away from Oregon, sip and sample some of the tasty offering from our beautiful boarder state to the north. First up for the day at the far end of the Columbia River Gorge is Waving Tree Winery. With award winning wines including Barbera, Syrah, Nebbiolo and Grenach, they bring a little Italy to Washington. Open by appointment during winter months.
Just a few minutes west down the highway, stop by Maryhill Winery for wide open vineyard views and wines that make them even more amazing. Enjoy their sultry Wine Makers Red blend or step up to their rich Cabernet Sauvignon. Open daily, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Next, tucked in the vineyards along the winding highway, swing by Jacob Williams for hand-craft and limited quantity wines including Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot, Zinfandel & Cabernet Franc. Open daily, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Lastly end the day trip at Cascade Cliffs Vineyard and Winery. From lush vineyard and river views to their warm and friendly tasting room, Cascade Cliffs makes you feel at home while you sip their big red wines. Letting the wines speak for themselves, they focus on creating wines with minimal sculpting so that the area’s unique terroir flourishes in each glass. Open daily, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.