A short ferry ride from Seattle, Bainbridge Island is one of my favorite places to visit anytime I’m in Washington. Though the island itself is beautiful, the wine is what lures me back again and again (for an introduction to the different wineries check out my post “Sipping through Seattle: Wine Tasting on Bainbridge Island”). Recently, I had the opportunity to return to Bainbridge Island and explore some new wineries as well as visit old favorites during their annual “Wine on The Rock” event.
The colorful vines lining the hills of J. Wrigley vineyards combat the dark and rainy gloom that embodies Oregon in October. Perched atop one of the larger hills in the valley, I have a birds-eye view of the surrounding vineyards and forests from the tasting room patio. During the summer the area would buzz with tourists and traffic noise, but today it’s silent. Harvest has come and gone, school is back in session and the rainy fall weather deters most area vinophiles from venturing out for a day of wine tasting. I have this winery (and most subsequent ones) to myself. The resulting intimate and authentic tasting encounters are what has come to define Oregon wine country.
Anyone familiar with Oregon Wine Country will tell you it can’t be experienced in one day, or even in one trip. Each AVA and appellation has its own character, taste and highlights that are worth experiencing at least once. One of the more popular areas to wine taste in the Willamette Valley is the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, due to its stunning vineyards, beautiful views, and close proximity to Portland. If you’re looking for the best views in Oregon wine country, look no further.
When I’m looking for a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of Portland, the Willamette Valley is my go-to destination. I visit often, and love discovering new places to sip and stay in the area. Recently I had the pleasure of discovering the Brookside Inn, a charming bed and breakfast in the heart of the Yamhill-Carlton appellation. Though it’s only a short drive from downtown (~45 minutes), this 21-acre forest-covered estate feels worlds away from the commotion of the city.
A huge perk of living in and around Portland is the availability of numerous activities or escapes just a short drive from the city. When I want to get away without going far, Oregon wine country is my go-to destination. In less than an hour, I can exchange city commotion for country serenity as I sip a glass of world-class wine and marvel at the beauty of the surrounding vineyards and green, rolling hillsides.
Unbeknownst to many, Idaho grows more than just potatoes. With over 50 wineries and 1,600+ acres of vineyards, the gem state’s wine industry is booming; and while the product these (quite under-appreciated) winemakers are putting out is very different from neighboring Pacific Northwest wine regions, it’s arguably just as good. READ MORE