Though its once purely utilitarian features have been repurposed as a modern industrial-chic wine bar, Sunshine Mill Winery is still a monument to turn-of-the-century agriculture. The gravity mill’s belt-drive system, for instance, is still wholly intact, and its massive gears hang above the heads of sommeliers pouring Quenett and Copa Di Vino wines in the lounge area. And atop the structure that still houses the mill’s Thomas Edison–designed electric generator, musicians regularly perform to the crowds on the alfresco dining area below.
"Come get naked with us." It sounds like an indecent proposal, but it's really a call to action from Naked Winery?specifically a call to grab some of the cheeky winery's offerings. Its winemakers use grapes grown in both hot and dry climates and cool marine climates in Oregon and Washington to produce vintages such as Foreplay chardonnay and the sweet red Blazing Straddle.
The masterminds behind the winery, the Barringer and Michalec families, gave their creations such sassy names partly because of the wines' ability to seduce palates. But they also did it because they loved the idea of couples sipping a glass at night and sharing a laugh over the names and saucy descriptions on the label.
Atop 30 acres of complex volcanic soils, Robert Morus tends his collection of chardonnay and pinot noir grapes planted against a backdrop of towering, snow-capped mountains. Embracing the labor-intensive process necessary to harvest flavorful grapes, Morus and his staff allow vines to only grow a single grape cluster per shoot. This technique gives each fruity morsel an intense flavor character and prevents grapes from getting overcrowded, jumping off the vine, and joining a troupe of singing raisins. First planted in 1989, the plots now fill sustainably-tended vineyards where visitors can come to learn more about the wine-making process during tours, wine tastings, and other events.
Cathedral Ridge Winery treats oenophiles to succulent samples of their highly awarded libations alongside complementary bites. In the tasting room, pairs tipple sips selected from the more than 20 wines made on site. Send palates on a perusal of buttery chardonnay or dessert-friendly riesling, test the spicy flavors of a zinfandel, and ponder the gooseberry notes of a syrah. After nibbling the last crumbs of a meat and cheese platter that brings out the nuances of various varietals, tasters take home a bottle of cabernet-merlot blend or pinot gris to pour at dinner parties or break over the bow of a new cubicle.
Pheasant Valley Vineyard and Winery, a locals favorite, is a family-owned and operated award wining winery and estate vineyards, located in Oregon's Hood River Valley. The first organic vineyard and winery, Scott and Gail Hagee lead the Columbia Valley in sustainable farming practices.