Oregon might be pretty low on your list for wine weekends, but by the end of this blog post, I’m positive I’ll have changed your mind! For this year’s annual wine weekend, we headed to the Pacific Northwest for a weekend full of gorgeous nature views, delicious foods and surprisingly awesome wine.
Portland is just 20-40 minutes from some of these places, and we made a full guide for that city. Check it out here!
Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory is a gorgeous region just a few miles outside of Portland that surrounds Oregon’s tallest mountain. The Mt. Hood Territory Wine Trail is in the Willamette Valley known for its pinots — both noir and gris. The region was named as the Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast.
The Territory is so beautiful — whether you’re visiting for wine, beer, nature or skiing or something, you’ll have a blast!
Lake Oswego is the most picturesque place to stay when you’re in town, though Portland is just a short 20-minute drive away, so staying there is another option. If you’re looking for a remote getaway in a small, adorable town plucked from a Hallmark movie, then the Lakeshore Inn on Lake Oswego is your best bet. It’s within walking distance from shopping and restaurants and has unbelievable lake views. The rooms are nice, and there’s even a pool right on (basically in) the lake. Of course, it’s only open seasonally and we would have frozen our butts off if we tried to hop in.
Ride in Style
We had a safe ride to and from all the wineries thanks to Sea to Summit! Book a private tour or join a group. There are several options and pricing is around $139 per person for 6-7 hours — this even includes tasting fees!
We had a private tour with Shaun, who kept us safe and on schedule to do our four wineries in one day, which we knew would be a challenge.
There are 16 wineries on the Mt. Hood Territory Wine Trail, and we made it to a quarter of them! If you hit 8 of the participating wineries, you take home a commemorative wine glass! Plus, if you have the winery passport, then you get to redeem specials at the different wineries. Click here for more details.
We started out pretty strong at Campbell Lane. Mainly, because we got to hang out with over 40 golden retrievers for Scout’s birthday. While that was extremely fun and all, the winery itself is a great time for so many reasons. The property is gorgeous — views of Mt. Hood, vineyards and trees for as far as the eyes can see. The family-run winery operates out of the home of the owners! The tasting room is literally where the family room used to be.
Campbell Lane’s first vintage was a 2014 (bb winery!!) but boy did they start off right! Their pinot gris 2015 was my fave. And a bottle was just around $20 (we got two to go!).
We skipped the tasting at Tumwater and opted to split a bottle (or two) of their rosé, which was such a great move since the day we were there it was quite warm and they had only a few pinot noirs to choose from. However, their tasting is such a good deal: $15 and you get a glass of your favorite at the end of it!
Tumwater’s estate is absolutely gorgeous and, if you want incredible vineyard pictures, this is your spot! Vineyards everywhere and an adorable pond to enjoy too. Definitely plan to stay a while at this stop. There’s also plenty of seating inside if it’s a cold or rainy day.
The award for best view goes to…. Pete’s, for sure. The thing we noticed first when pulling up was how absolutely stunning the views of the vineyards and the tippy top of Mount Hood were. So breathtaking I thought I’d never breathe again.
Every winery we went asked us if we were going to Pete’s later. They certainly have a reputation, and I totally get it. The couple that runs the winery is adorable and so sweet. They’ve got a few kids so they’re always running around town, so the winery is one of the ones only open to the public on Sundays. That might change soon, but plan for Sunday just in case.
Pete’s wine is pretty great. I made it home with a bottle of Pinot Gris and can’t wait to crack it open on the next sunny day! We also really enjoyed our cheese board
Bonus, if you’ve had enough wine: There’s a basketball court and I definitely played and won a game of horse. Watch out, Lebron.
Last, but definitely not least, Lake Oswego is the OG winery in the region. They were among the first (if not THE first) to set up shop with wine in this area. The winery was lusciously green even though it was fall! The vibe here was totally family friendly and boy was it busy. It looked like it could be a gorgeous space for a wedding or reunion or something — ample parking, lawn, views, barn-style tasting room.
We also left with a couple bottles here. The $15 pinot gris and rosés were delicious but the $22 Viognier stole our hearts. Get it, especially if you’ve never had a Viognier. It’ll change your life.
Know Before You Go
- I knew Oregon was best for reds — pinot noir specifically, but I was surprised with how many wineries had delicious white wines (usually pinot gris). Now, I’m a fan of red, especially in the fall and winter, but fruity whites are my absolute favorite thing to drink on a sunny day. Keep an open mind and try all the whites and reds you encounter!
- The wine trail is pretty new and a lot of them have very limited hours. I assumed we’d be wine-ing on a Saturday, but actually a lot of wineries were only open on Sundays. Plan on that being your day of drinking!
- Bring cash for tips, especially if you’re doing a tour where your fees are included.
- Oregon wine is super affordable, so plan to check a bag. When I went to Napa, I wanted a few bottles as souvenirs but OUCH Napa wines were pricey. I ended up with only one bottle. Oregon, however, has extremely affordable bottles of wine. Like $15-$22 bottles. So great. Wanted to take them all home!
- Just a note on flying to and from Portland in general: Direct are pretty limited. We all booked with United for around $350 to $600 (for the latest booking) for round trip flights on United Economy. I didn’t look into Alaska Airlines at all when booking (I don’t think they have a direct flight to Houston). However, if you are traveling somewhere where Alaska does fly to, you can actually check a case of wine FOR FREE. Alaska Airlines really supports us winos, apparently.
- Dress in layers in Oregon. Honestly, we were freezing during the foggy mornings and sweating by 3 pm in the sun. Scarves and sweaters are the pro move.