There is no need to hurry across Oregon. Instead, local breweries, vineyards and distilleries offer ample opportunities for visitors to sit back, sip and taste the difference of locally crafted libations.
Oregon citizens have long revered high-quality local products, which is one reason the state helped lead the country in burgeoning local wineries in the 1970s, craft breweries in the 1980s and distilleries in the past decade.
This history allows groups to drink delicious concoctions while also sampling an authentic part of Oregon culture. Many times, groups can also pair acclaimed local cuisine with the beverage of choice for an added regional effect.
These wineries, breweries and distilleries that welcome groups didn’t appear overnight. They all come with stories of determined individuals with a passion for creating the best possible product that not only tastes great, but also reflects the local community.
Phelps Creek Vineyards
At an elevation of 1,100 feet, groups can swish wine, relax and take in stunning views of the Hood River Valley at Phelps Creek Vineyard. Just outside Hood River in the Columbia River Gorge, this boutique winery focuses on producing estate-grown pinot noir and dijon clone chardonnay.
Alexandrine Roy traveled from her own fourth-generation winery in Burgundy, France, to bring French winemaking to owner Bob Morus’ 30-acre vineyard. Since its 1990 opening, the vineyard has garnered acclaim for its carefully crafted pinot noir.
Groups can book a tour to follow the life of a wine grape from the vineyard to the cellar to a finished wine in a bottle. Guides lead guests past rows of pinot noir grapes while describing the growing season and offering fruit to taste.
After learning all about the process, groups can try to pick out individual flavors of current-release wines. Customized experiences can add artisan cheese selections and other local bites to the tastings.