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.
Nestled in the heart of the lush Hood River Valley, thick forests of cherry trees sweep across McNeill Orchards. Tractors rumble beneath their leaves, bearing farmers who collect plump Bing, Lapin, and Rainier cherries from their branches. The farmers' stands sprout up on local roads, peddling boxes of their fresh fruit to passing pedestrians, drivers, and low-flying extraterrestrials. As a local business, the farm strives to improve the community around it by donating a portion of its profit to local charities.
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.
Waving Tree Winery churns out award-winning wines. But instead of using its syrah, orange muscat, and other varietals to fill a delicious moat around the facility, Waving Tree shares them at its tasting room in Kirkland. Here, visitors can immerse themselves into the cozy room's dark tones while tasting Waving Tree's many productions. In between sips, they can also munch on small plates, flip through books, or explore rotating art exhibits showcasing the talents of local artists.