Drawing on grapes from nearly 900 acres of Northwestern vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette and Umpqua Valleys and Washington’s Wahluke Slope, Duck Pond Cellars staff have created a variety of award winning varietals. That list includes its silky and smooth Syrah, which won a silver medal from last year’s San Francisco International Wine Competition. Overseen by father-son duo Doug and Greg Fries, the team painstakingly crafts wines that visitors can sip on at the winery’s tasting room. Purchase a bottle for yourself, a friend, or for your imaginary alter-ego at the gift shop.
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.
No strangers to the art of winemaking, the Wetzel family?s roots run deep into the vineyards that surround their winery. For four generations, they have crafted award-winning wines in Germany, and for the last 35, they have called Oregon home. Chateau Bianca Winery peeks out from the Willamette Valley, where pinot noir grapes flourish across the estate vineyards. These carefully cultivated grapes eventually fill bottles with varietals such as the 2009 Chateau Bianca Estate pinot blanc, a dry, clean-finishing wine that makes a refreshing apertif.
Guests visit the tasting room to sample some of Chateau Bianca?s wines, where each day a rotating selection of six bottles are uncorked for swirling and sipping. On days when the summer sun dapples the fields and shimmers playfully off Bacchus?s lampshade hat, sippers relax on the outdoor patio to enjoy a glass or share a bottle while looking out across rows of vines.
Cuisine Type: Wine
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: White wines
Alcohol: Wine only
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Pro Tip: Please plan on spending some time enjoying the view, perhaps with a picnic.
What is one of your most popular offerings? How is it prepared?
Guests seem to love the fact we have several white wines to choose from.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
We have a flight of around 10 wines, half reds and half whites. We also have snack food available.
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.
?rd?ri Winery & Vineyards' winemakers John Compagno and Gail Lizak personally tend to each vine on their 15-acre vineyard in Willamette Valley, Oregon, and their five-acre vineyard in California's Napa Valley. They age each harvest's fruit in French oak, creating complexly flavored whites and reds.
John and Gail share their award-winning varietals year round at their open-air tasting facility, where staffers pour samples from behind a black concrete bar and roll-up windowed doors afford stunning views of Mount Hood and the Chehalem Mountains. The boutique winery's dog- and bike-friendly grounds also include a covered flagstone patio, a fire pit, trails through the vineyards, and picnic areas.