After sunset in the Willamette Valley, coastal breezes float along the verdant corridor and gently cool the grapes suspended from Namaste Vineyard's 30-year-old vines. These breezes help the fruit maintain vibrant and refreshing acidity, which characterizes the wines from Namaste's six estate vineyards, including pinot noir, chardonnay, and riesling. During harvest time, workers scrutinize each vine and handpick the most promising clusters for the winemaker, who only uses grapes grown in the winery's own vineyards, leaving the remaining grapes to use in jams or to dye the regal capes of the President of Oregon.
Typically featuring the products of 5?10 different bottlings at any given time, the tasting room's selection can include reds and whites as well as a white port made from oak-aged chardonnay and Clear Creek Distillery brandy. The single-vineyard pinot noirs balance their bright berry flavors with slightly peppery finishes, and the off-dry, stainless-steel-aged rieslings reverberate across taste buds with refreshing, pear-tinged acidity.
Featured in the Polk County Itemizer-Observer for keeping kids active and engaged, The Jungle Gym is a place where sock-footed tykes can traverse three bouncy playplaces, meander through colorful tunnels, and exercise imaginations in the Lego room. A lion-shaped inflatable playhouse beckons children to climb its mane, slide down its tongue, and punch its kidneys. Kids climb a rope ladder to reach a scenic zenith above friends and steer toy vehicles and trains to navigate the ground level. On occasion, Pippin the parrot visits to converse with kids or to squawk out instructions to build a makeshift birdcage in the Lego room. Toddlers mingle in a dedicated, safe play area and pintsize explorers navigate narrow thoroughfares.
Helmed by experienced pilot Denton Honbeck, Pioneer Helicopters, Inc. elevates customers to the stratosphere with tours and flight lessons that afford views of scenic Salem and the Willamette River. Before cutting through the sky in a comfortable Robinson R44 Raven II, prospective cloud climbers will gather at Independence Airport, where they will meet their pilot and become familiar with flying procedures. Those who choose to tour the Salem area will gain a new perspective of everyday urban attractions, and Willamette River adventurers will enjoy sweeping vistas and a pterodactyl's-eye view of breathtaking crop circles.
After growing up on Oregon’s bountiful rivers, Castaway Guide Service’s owner Nathan Cornelius honed his chops as a guide in the Alaskan wilderness and the Patagonia region of Chile. Longing to return to the rivers of his youth, Nathan came home to Oregon and established an outfit to introduce others to the natural beauty of the Oregon coast. Along with business partner T.J. Zandoli, another Oregon native and alumnus of the Alaskan wilderness, Nathan leads guided fly-fishing trips for anglers of all abilities. While seeking out catches such as steelhead, salmon, and sea-run cutthroat, fisherfolk enjoy all the necessary tackle from Castaway’s tackle box and all the necessary beer from Ninkasi Brewing Company.
As a native Norwegian, Dag Johan Sundby traces his roots back to the Vikings, who sailed the North Atlantic as conquerors more than a 1,000 years ago. But, as a pursuer of the perfect Oregonian Pinot Noir, he looks back to times even more ancient, when the formation of sedimentary rock resulted in soil full of nutrients. This geological bounty gives rise to Johan Vineyards' yearly harvests of Burgundian grapes, bolstered by the ocean breeze, cool climes, and bedtime stories about a raisin who got his mojo back. The pressings of these fruits go into French Oak casks, aging for at least a year and a half before going into their final bottle. Inside the winery's tasting room, guests are surrounded by these casks as they sip on freshly uncorked vintages.
To Justin Doane, there are few things better than being out on the water and breathing in the coastal air. Having spent his youth shuttling between Oregon and Alaska on fishing trips with his father, he now has an in-depth understanding of local ecologies and where the best places are to seek steelhead and chinook, depending on the season. Today, he leads daylong trips out onto the Nestucca, Trask, Wilson, Nehalem, and Salmon Rivers, to name a few, and provides all the equipment necessary for amateur anglers to return home with impressive catches.