Nestled in verdant rolling hills, Silvan Ridge Winery complements its grapey varietals with a menu of easily chewable eats. Gourmet cheese plates tickle tongues with a variety of aromatic curds from Spring Valley Dairy in nearby Keizer—including dill havarti, smoked gouda, and brie ($7)—and 8-inch wood-fired pizzas ($6.50–$7.50) and crispy caesar side salads ($4.50) carry hunger away as swiftly as hungry warriors plundering an empty pantry. An outdoor patio and surrounding grassy slopes afford picnickers eyefuls of grapevine-laced hills; inside, the fireside room gives couples an excuse to cozy up next to a wood-burning blaze and share a creamy wedge of cheesecake for two ($4). Complimentary wine tastings greet all visitors of legal age.
Stoller Vineyards, located in Oregon's Willamette Valley, uniquely offers world class wines and genuine hospitality in a stunning setting. Enjoy panoramic views, ample outdoor space for relaxation and three guest homes available for rent while visiting North America's first Gold LEED certified winery.
Much like the wines they produce, Jim and Holly Witte gave their romance ample time to develop—40 years time. Though they met in New York City when Holly was Jim's secretary, it wasn't until a mutual friend reintroduced them decades later that they fell in love. They exchanged vows in Willamette Valley, an area flush with wine grapes, and then began A Blooming Hill Vineyard in nearby Washington County. Their vineyard sits in the hills of the Chehalem Mountains on a basalt range strewn with windblown volcanic soil, protected on three sides by still taller hills and taller yet older brothers. Jim personally walks the vineyards, tending to each vine by hand to create enough breathing room for full clusters to grow.
Visitors can sample the award-winning blends in the onsite tasting room, which plays host to different events each month. To sate people's curiosity, the Wittes share their fermentation process online, and to sate people's appetites, they also share the recipe for the wine-infused cake they served at the vineyard for their wedding-anniversary party.
Wise oenophiles stock WineStyles' shelves with top-quality nectars and preside over tastings of reds and whites three days each week. Customers can skip over exhaustive grape stomping and lengthy fermentation processes and indulge in finished products by exploring samples ($5–$10) at Thursday-evening tastings and at Saturday events. A different theme characterizes each of the Thursday and Saturday tastings, which are often hosted by representatives from local wineries and heavily attended by satyrs. On Fridays, customers embark on featured flights ($10) before swilling an entire goblet of their favorite of the samples. Accommodating staff members stand by to assist customers who wish to purchase bottles of selections that titillated their palate's fermented fancies.
Renowned for its artisan wines and pinot noir varietals, Willamette Valley Vineyards whips taste buds into flavorful frenzies with elegant quaffs that highlight the pure grapes of the region. Like the cycles of the moon and broken sundials, reserve tastings rotate monthly, featuring a different lineup of five distinct libations. Tasters can count on three Single Vineyard Designate pinot noirs in the sippable quintet, one of which is the 2008 Estate pinot noir. Blossoming sommeliers step up to their glasses and test their scent-sensors under the guidance of Willamette Valley's professional drink detectives, aiding their efforts to detect the notes of cherry, dark chocolate, and spice laced throughout their beverage. Following their consumption and discussion of their glasses, participants receive two "It's Willamette, Dammit" t-shirts, and are welcome to keep their Riedel logo stemware, ideal for future tastings or trapping fancy tarantulas.
Nestled among the crawling vines and rich views of the Willamette Valley, Redhawk gives wine hunters a cornucopia of notes to subtly detect—or thoughtlessly sip—in the accessible, informal tasting room. Curious tongues will cavort with the last whispers of grapes, such as "I have chocolate undertones," and "is the wireless grapevine down again?" at a wine tasting consisting of four white wines, three pinot noirs, one red blended wine, one syrah and one dessert wine. In the event that any wines—like the earthy 2008 Grateful Red Pinot Noir ($15 per bottle), the fruit-laced 2007 Stainless Steel Chardonnay ($12 per bottle) or the peppery 2008 Columbia Valley Syrah ($16)—catch the tongue, feel free to adopt a bounding bottle of joy at discount of 25% off the total purchase.