The pioneers who trekked their way westward on the Oregon Trail had a name for the Willamette Valley: The Promised Land. Why? Because in this little piece of heaven on earth, just about anything will grow. This valley’s fertile soil produces some of the world’s most mouthwatering crops, and our farmers, vintners, brewers and chefs are pretty darn proud of the results. So proud, in fact, that every year we throw festivals, fairs, and big open-air feasts to celebrate Oregon’s bounty.
Here are a few of our favorite harvest time food and drink festivals and farm dinners to help you taste what all the fuss is about:
Bounty of Yamhill County, August 28-30, 2015
Named one of the top two food festivals in the country by USA Today, Bounty of Yamhill County is both a celebration of food and wine, and a fundraiser for the Yamhill Enrichment Society, an organization that funds carefully selected projects in arts & education, food & agriculture, and history & community. Bounty of Yamhill County is three days of deliciousness that celebrates Yamhill County’s unique artisan landscape through a carefully curated lineup of dinners, farm tours, classes and more.
Photo: Andrea Johnson Photography
Field & Vine Dinners: Aug. 1, 15, 22, and 30; Sept. 5, 12, and 19; Oct. 3; Nov. 7; Dec. 5, 2015.
At each dinner in the field, visit a a new farm or vineyard, where the growers will tell you about their work while you stroll through the fields with a glass of wine. Settle in to a long community table and enjoy a six-course dinner, prepared by Chef Pascal Chureau, paired with wines and sourced as often as possible directly from the farm you’re visiting.
Photo: Erika Plummer
Pairings — A Celebration of Oregon: Friday, August 21, 2015
Stroll through a lush two-acre garden and sample the finest efforts of Oregons chefs, winemakers, brewers and distillers. This new event celebrates Oregon’s food and beverage scene and also celebrates the 150-year tradition of the Oregon State Fair. Tickets include live music during the event and admission to the Oregon State Fair, which starts a week later.
The Great Taste: August 20, 2015
Gather under the oaks at Oakway Center in Eugene and listen to live music as you wander between tasting stations. Wine, cheese, craft beer, coffee, fine chocolates and exquisite snacks are all on the menu. The Great Taste benefits Relief Nursery, an organization aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect.
Craft Beer Smackdown: September 18, 2015
The Willamette Valley’s best brewers battle for supremacy in the streets of historic Albany, Oregon. Taste dozens of Oregon craft beers, visit with the brewers, and find out which is your favorite. Diehards can stay for the after-party at Calapooia Brewing Co.
Corvallis Beer Week: September 11-19, 2015
It’s an entire week of craft beer celebration in the heart of the Willamette Valley. Brewery tours, tap takeovers, special tastings, food pairings, and educational workshops all week long, with new events each day. Craft beer enthusiasts will be in heaven at this popular beer and food extravaganza.
Feast Portland: Sept. 17-20, 2015
This is the biggest food and drink party in the state—if you love food, you need to be there. You can sample some of the Willamette Valley’s best food and wine at the wine terrace during the Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting, Friday and Saturday at Pioneer Courthouse Square. You can also enter to win a trip for two, including airfare, to visit the Willamette Valley — look for the Oregon Wine Country banner on the wine terrace.