Oregon Wine Country Blog

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A Wine Country Getaway for You and Your Four-Legged Friend

Summer is finally here and we know you are looking for a reason to rush to the Willamette Valley. Well don’t leave your pup at home because the Oregon’s Wine Country offers up plenty of Pinot for you and playful adventures (on both water and land!) for your pooch.

Check out CityDog Magazine’s feature on Oregon Wine Country’s greatest summer getaways for you and your furry friend (s)!

Linn Benton Farm-to-Table Dinner Series

June 8, 2017 | Becca Barnhart
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Visit Corvallis and the Albany Visitors Association are pleased to produce a series of farm-to-table dinner parties this summer.

The series will begin on June 18 at Garland Nursery in Corvallis, with additional farm-to-table dinners scheduled for July 22 at Tyee Wine Cellars south of Corvallis, Aug. 12 at the Weddle Covered Bridge near Sweet Home and Sept. 10 at a private garden overlooking the Willamette River in Albany.

Guests will be able to meet local chefs and learn about the food they prepare and how they source it. They’ll also sample fine vintages from local wineries and learn about their wines and vineyards. These experiences will pair to create an intimate gathering and a memorable culinary experience at a beautiful location.

A portion of the proceeds from these events will be donated to charities and nonprofit organizations, as well – great food and wine for great causes! Charities benefiting from the series will be Community Outreach Inc., Oregon Public Broadcasting, Albany’s Regional Museum and the Albany Veterans Day Parade.

Find more about the event series and get your tickets today!

Use Bike Concierge to Explore Mt. Hood Territory’s Wine Scene

April 12, 2017 | Jarrod Lyman
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Now that spring is finally arriving in Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory and Oregon Wine Country, Oregonians are coming out of their caves to stretch their legs, looking forward to outdoor activities this beautiful region has to offer. Or, perhaps they are looking forward to begin enjoying the fruits of our winemakers’ labors. In a perfect world, we could combine those two.

Guess what? It’s a perfect world. Who knew?!

The Bike Concierge has crafted an amazing tour that combines our love if cycling and the outdoors with our love of awesome wines into a 15-miles, three-winery tour. Peddle your way to Christopher Bridge Winery, King’s Raven Winery and Villa Catalana Cellars to enjoy some pretty awesome wines paired with truly beautiful countryside.

Thom Batty and his amazing support staff will be at your side during the ride offering as much or as little assistance as you want. Need a tour guide? Let Thom fill you in on what you’re seeing on the journey. Need a break? The support van will be tailing your tour and allow you to hop aboard and rest your legs. They’ll also be there to store your wine purchases, so you can load up with bottles (or cases!) of your new favorite vintages.

If you’re more into craft beers or spirits, let the Bike Concierge offer a tours of our unique craft beer scene as well. If you have a group of mixed wine lovers, craft beer aficionados and even fans of spirits, their newest tour hits up Coin Toss Brewing, either King’s Raven or Villa Catalana Winery and new kid on the block Trail Distilling. The Bike Concierge will work with you to craft the perfect tour that hits all the goals you have in mind for your vacation.

When you combine our amazing wineries with great bike tours, you get a winning combination for your next trip to and through Oregon Wine Country. See you on the trails!

Road Trip: Santiam Wagon Road, and Paths Less Traveled

A great way to reconnect with nature is to take a road trip through the scenic recreational areas of the Willamette Valley.  Just four miles off I-5 is the charming small town of Historic Brownsville, a fantastic place to begin the adventure.

This charming little town has numerous venues packed with information about Oregon pioneer history as well as some wonderful places to eat.  Be sure to stop at Randy’s Café for delicious coffee and giant cinnamon rolls for a morning treat.

Traveling East allows visitors to experience the famous Santiam Wagon Road through Sweet Home, considered one of most important historical routes in the state.  Sightseers on this path can view information about the past in museums and historic structures such as restored covered bridges, and many colorful murals depicting life in yesteryear.

With access to rivers, reservoirs, parks, campgrounds, and hiking trails, this byway offers a wide range of recreational activities and is a year ‘round opportunity for travelers to enjoy a few hours of tranquil scenery, inspiring beauty and historical gratification.  It’s is the perfect way experience outdoor activities and to take the road less traveled.

Stop in at The Point Restaurant to enjoy some down-home, Sweet Home goodness while taking in the view of Foster Lake’s beauty.  Don’t miss their hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, fresh-baked bread (including gluten-free) and burgers.

After a hearty meal, drive across Highway 20 to Foster Lake Reservoir to enjoy the recreational paradise that offers easy access to rivers, reservoirs, parks, campgrounds, many trails and winter sport areas; this byway offers opportunities for many fun experiences for the whole family.

Celebrate Oregon Wine Month at Taste Dundee

May is Oregon Wine Month and Taste Dundee is one of the first events during the month-long wine celebration.  Taste Dundee is held on Saturday, May 6, 2017 and continues the celebration that began last year when the Willamette Valley was awarded Wine Star #1 Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

During Taste Dundee guests can sip award-winning wines from Dundee area wineries in the Willamette Valley, paired with delicious small bites and live music for an unforgettable afternoon in the beautiful Oregon wine country.

Taste Dundee will feature 25 wineries pouring two bottles of artisan crafted wine. This year’s participating wineries include:  Alexana Winery, Angela Estate, Aubichon Cellars, Cathedral Ridge Winery, Chapter 24, Dobbes  Family Estate, Domaine Trouvere (Lange Estate), Duck Pond Cellars, Durant Vineyards, Erath Winery, The Four Graces,  Fox Farm Vineyards, Hawkins Cellars, Hyland Estates,  Knudsen Vineyards, Mellen Meyer, Methven Family Vineyards, Panther Creek Cellars, Purple Hands Winery, Rizzo Winery, Script Cellars, Sokol Blosser Winery, Stoller Family Estate, Tertulia Cellars, and Zerba Cellars. Small bites will be served from Red Hills Market, The Dundee Bistro, and Babica Hen. Food trucks will be available for purchase of heartier fare.

This year’s event is predicted to sell out with the addition of a VIP Reception which will allow the opportunity to meet wine-makers,  mix and mingle with wine enthusiasts, all while sampling delicious appetizers. The event is limited to 100 guests.

VIP Tickets are $50 and allow the ticket holder to enjoy an hour of special access to wine and winemakers before the doors are open to the public. General admission tickets are $30 in advance, and will be $40 at the door.  You can purchase tickets at www.tastedundee.com. More information will be available on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TasteDundeeOregon.

Tickets available through Eventbrite

Event Details: Taste Dundee will be held at Billick Park in Dundee from 12 – 4 pm on Saturday, May 6, 2017.

About Taste Dundee

Taste Dundee is held during Oregon Wine Month as an opportunity for the Dundee Hills Wineries Association to showcase their distinctive terroir and wines. Wine will be available for purchase at a discount of 10% for 6 bottles or 20% for mixed 12 bottles.

Explore Willamette Valley’s Southern Waterfalls

As Oregon’s weather warms into spring, it’s time to start exploring Willamette Valley’s diverse waterfall scene. Start with a trip at the southern end of the Willamette Valley in the West Cascades.

Visit Salt Creek Falls, located 23 miles southeast of Oakridge, OR. As one of the tallest waterfalls in Oregon (cascading 286 feet) Salt Creek Falls Trails is an easy half-mile hike with a wheelchair accessible observation point to view several angles of the water. From the observation point the trail drops steeply into a canyon, ending near the base of the waterfall. This view is a year-round guarantee of scenic beauty and is very simple to access – the observation platform at the top of the waterfall is only 50 yards from the parking lot and the finding the falls from Hwy 58 is a breeze with easy-to-follow- signs.

Salt Creek Falls trail also has access to the nearby Diamond Creek Falls trail. This 3.2 mile loop trail skirts the rims of the Salt Creek and Diamond Creek Canyons, passing the lower falls first and continuing to the upper falls where Diamond Creek spills over. Halfway through the hike a side trail descends to the base of the upper falls for a dramatic look up.

From Salt Creek, if you are looking to relax after your hike, McCredie Hot Springs is only 13 miles northwest on Hwy 58 between milepost 46 and 57. McCredie Hot Springs are easily accessible from the road with paved parking. Several extremely hot (please use caution) pools border the cold and fast-flowing Salt Creek, a Willamette River tributary. These hot springs remain natural and undeveloped.

If you keep traveling northwest on Hwy 58 towards Eugene, you will end up in the small town of Oakridge. While in Oakridge, make sure you stop downtown for a genuine British cask Ale and a bite at Brewers Union Local 180.

Take a quick trip into the neighboring town of Westfir and check out a few covered bridges that are along Hwy 58. The Office Covered Bridge was built in 1924 and is Oregon’s longest covered bridge. If you continue along the highway toward Eugene you will run into Lowell Covered Bridge, which is Oregon’s widest covered bridge. PengraParvinUnity and Cannon Street covered bridges are all within a 10 mile radius of Lowell Covered Bridge, making it a great starting point for another scenic excursion.

Wineries, Gardens and Fresh Farm Produce

March 31, 2017 | Mary Pat Parket
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Spring in Corvallis, Oregon brings apple & cherry blossoms, tulips and daffodils. Fluffy white clouds passing overhead in a bright blue sky signify that it’s time to shed that winter gear and get out & about. With over 18 wineries in the Heart of Willamette Wineries Association located in and around Corvallis, you’ll want to pack a picnic, go wine tasting or hike and bike on over 60 miles of trails in and around town.

If Spring makes you want to bend your green thumb we have plenty of places for you to explore.  Garland Nursery is a sixth generation nursery that boasts over six acres of plants, trees, shrubs and flowers for you to choose from. They also have a wonderful store where you’ll find one-of-a-kind gifts and décor ,and carry local wine – perfect to enjoy after a day spent working in the garden.  Spend time at Thyme Garden’s  Earth Day celebration or Mother’s Day weekend planned for May 13th & 14th. The theme is “Art in the Garden” and they will have Tyee wines and Oregon Trail beer available for purchase.

If you can’t wait until the Corvallis Farmer’s Market begins on April 15th to pick your produce, check out Davis Family Farm and Hiatt Farm – home to country stores with produce, locally sourced honey, desserts and other yummy treats.

For more information about any of these venues please visit: www.visitcorvallis.com

Wine and Dine Divinely in the Salem, OR Area

March 31, 2017 | Kara Kuhn
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Oregon has put itself on the map as a must-visit destination for foodies in recent years, and the Salem area offers a diverse and up-and-coming restaurant scene that pairs perfectly with its more than 30 award-winning wineries, scenic beauty and outdoor adventure.

Visit these top dining spots that showcase both the region’s bounty of fresh ingredients and local chefs’ individual flair:

Archive Coffee & Bar
Introducing a unique “coffee by day/craft bar at night” concept, Archive has become the go-to hangout for early morning coffee lovers and late night craft cocktail connoisseurs. Insider’s Tip: Stop by Tuesday and Friday mornings when Bigwig Donuts’ made-to-order donut hole pop-up shop is on site.

Taproot Lounge & Café
Owner Christopher Holland opened Taproot in the fall of 2015 using a Kickstarter campaign. Funky, eclectic décor – including an in-wall fish tank – makes this a fun spot to hang out any day of the week. The menu features artfully crafted bowls and salads along with a fresh juice bar. The bacon-wrapped Brussels sprouts are a must-try on the appetizer list.

The Silver Grille
The Silver Grille is a farm-to-table restaurant located in historic downtown Silverton. Chef Jeff Nizlek’s travels and experience have shaped his distinctive views of food, which are reflected in his evolving menu choices and signature style. The restaurant recently received an Oregon Wine A-List Award for prominently featuring Oregon wines.

The Three Legged Dog
Named after owner Josh Cronin’s happy-go-lucky dog Sully, the Three Legged Dog serves up hand-crafted food and local wine, beer and spirits in an historic building in Independence. Try the duck confit and bacon burger featuring braised duck, bacon and roasted Roma tomato jam. The restaurant also serves Sunday brunch featuring a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar.

The Food Cart “Pod” – at Barrel & Keg
Barrel & Keg is Salem’s newest bottle shop and tasting bar and home to Salem’s first food cart pod. Each day, multiple carts serve up unique eats  – from BBQ and burgers to street tacos and Italian flatbreads. Dine alfresco or text your order to the food cart of your choice, and they’ll bring it to your table inside Barrel & Keg.

For more culinary exploration ideas in the Salem region, to go www.TravelSalem.com.

Flower Festivals this Spring in the Willamette Valley

March 15, 2017 | admin

Spring is finally here in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The rains and snow over the past winter season have made way for our farms to produce a bounty of delicious fruits, vegetables and award-winning wines. Our agricultural wonderland is impressive, and our festivals, fairs and events are the perfect way to explore what the region has to offer.

One annual event that turns spring into more than a season is The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm’s Annual Tulip Festival. Stroll through 40 acres of stunning beauty in Woodburn, OR. If you stop in on a weekend try the ziplines, bungee-jumping, pony rides, archery tag and paintball. Let the kids loose for the rubber duck races. Adults can sit back and enjoy sweeping views along with wine under the new Wooden Shoe Vineyards label. In addition to well-known Oregon varietals like Pinot noir and Pinot gris, Wooden Shoe boasts rare varieties such as a 2014 Marechal Foch.

Need even more blooms this spring? Get your fix of gorgeous blossoms from Travel Oregon’s round-up of these spring festivals.

Get Cozy in Corvallis all Winter Long

December 15, 2016 | Mary Pat Parket
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If you find yourself feeling a litter chilly this winter here are some great places to come and warm up in Corvallis.

Five Corvallis area restaurants feature inviting fireplace along with delicious food and beverage. Visit del Alma, Big River or LUC for a more upscale meal and classic cocktail or if you want a more casual environments then Fireworks or McMenamins are the places for you.

Join us for our annual Corvallis Culinary Week January 23rd through the 29th. Some of Corvallis’ best restaurants offer special $10 plates during the week, so you can sample a small portion of the kinds of wonderful food available at these establishments. Many restaurants also partner with local wineries to compliment the faire.

New to Corvallis is the Dam. It’s a sports bar with a vintage arcade, cornhole arena and other fun bar games. Their large space and balcony seating will make the Dam the best place in town to watch live music!

Get ready for the Martin Luther King Day of Service on Saturday January 14, 2017, with projects all over town, transportation will be available to all locations from the OSU campus. Stay tuned for more details.

If you are feeling very adventurous and have a little cabin fever this winter, take the Polar Bear Plunge benefiting Special Olympics at Crystal Lake Sports park Saturday February 18, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.. Brrr…

For more information visit: www.visitcorvallis.com