Grapevines blanketing wine country
The Milky Way lighting up the region
Grapevines and barrels in wine country
Biking through Ankeny Vineyard
Numerous options for farm-to-table cuisine
Shops and restaurants along Main Street in Brownsville
Silver Falls State Park in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains
Funny faces for Halloween on a pumpkin farm in Salem
160 kilometers of wineries, hills and historic towns
This is a place that beckoned to pioneers who trekked 2,000 miles to put down roots in this verdant land. Today, the spirit of those stubborn dreamers lives on at more than 250 wineries where winemakers craft award-winning pinot noir; at craft breweries, small distilleries and artisan cheese shops, where resident experts accept nothing less than the finest in food and drink; and out in the fields and forests and waterways that beckon to daring souls.
Take your time in the Willamette Valley; it’s a place you’ll want to explore. Wander down a back road to a family-owned winery, and don’t be surprised if you learn that the server pouring your wine is also the vintner who made it. Two generations ago, visionaries reclaimed tumble-down orchards and neglected hillsides to plant grapes that took the wine world by storm. Today, award-winning wineries dot the valley, each with its own story. Sit back and savor a glass of world-renowned pinot noir while you look out over the vines that gave birth to the flavors in your glass.
The Finest Food and Drink
If you ask where to find the best local food and drinks in the Willamette Valley, don’t be surprised if you get something more like a dissertation than a recommendation. “Local” is taken seriously here. Craft brewers use home-grown hops and barley in their distinctive Oregon brews. Farmers nurture grass-fed beef and sun-soaked berries; foragers hunt for wild mushrooms; and chefs take all this goodness and transform it into mouth-watering meals you won’t forget. In wine country, you can visit picturesque farms, meet the growers, walk the fields and pick a basket of fresh produce to take home with you.
Don’t expect to sit still much when you’re in Oregon Wine Country; there are just too many different ways to explore. Try cycling between vineyards along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway or immerse yourself in the heart of the valley as you paddle the Willamette River, a nationally recognized water trail. Stop to smell the flowers, count the birds and study endangered butterflies as you hike through protected natural wildlife areas. Feast your eyes on ancient forests, rugged mountain peaks and heart-stopping waterfalls.
It’s a varied land, a beautiful land, a land that’s been tended by generations of individuals who are passionate about preserving its distinctive character and spirit. Savor the Willamette Valley, Oregon's wine country.