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When is harvest at the wineries?

If I could predict when harvest would be, I’d be a rich man ;-)

In all seriousness though, harvest typically happens sometime between September and October every year. The weather in spring and summer will have a huge impact on how the grapes ripen. Harvest time can also be one of the best times of year to visit — if the rains hold off, you’ll have some amazing vineyard views, and sweeping landscapes … and you might catch some wineries in the middle of production, getting an opportunity to see things that don’t happen year round. Also, keep in mind that Labor Day is a fairly high traffic wine tasting holiday, so that weekend can be busy.

Answered by Ryan Reichert, Ask Oregon Wine Expert on July 31st, 2013 - Post Your Answer

Which Oregon wineries have restaurants that are open daily?

King Estate and Left Coast Cellars are on the list. You should also check with Willamette Valley Vineyards as I believe they serve lunch regularly if not dinner as well.

In Dundee you’ll find both Red Hills Market (just upstairs is Domaine Trouvere) which is a definite favorite. Also in Dundee is the Dundee Bistro, which is connected to the Ponzi Wine Bar.

Also, there are many wineries that are more than happy to allow you to enjoy a picnic lunch (which you can get at Red Hills Market or other convenient places) with their sweeping views. Those that readily come to mind include Johan (in the same vicinity as Left Coast, actually!), Trisaetum Winery, Stoller Vineyards, Lenné Estate, WillaKenzie, A Blooming Hill, Apolloni Vineyards, and Sokol Blosser. Apparently I eat at more wineries than I realized!

I hope this helps with your planning.

Happy tasting!

Answered by Ryan Reichert, Ask Oregon Wine Expert on May 29th, 2013 - Post Your Answer

Is there a short bike ride my girlfriends and I can do to a few wineries as a day trip from Portland?

Here are a couple of companies in Portland to check out:
Pedal Bike Tours
Portland Bicycle Tours

Each of them offer tours of the Willamette Valley via bike, and seem competitively priced.

Also, if you’re interesting in planning your own bike ride, here’s a good article I found that gives some tips. The first tour is a great loop in an area I know pretty well — and very reasonable for time/distance. You’ll also not be far from some other great wineries: Trisaetum, Colene Clemens, Ayres, and Utopia (though they may be harder to access with dirt roads).

Finally, keep in mind that there is a budding cluster of urban wineries in Portland proper, and you could have a fun day tasting wine right in town. Check out the website for this group of in-the-city producers: http://pdxurbanwineries.com/
Hope you have a great trip.

Answered by Ryan Reichert, Ask Oregon Wine Expert on September 10th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

We love sightseeing, wineries and hiking and will be arriving in Portland. Which are the best wineries to visit for a day?

There are many places I would recommend to you, though given your tight schedule, to explore one region in the valley might be your best bet.

I would highly recommend checking out wineries in the Dundee Hills AVA, located near Dundee, OR (right on 99-W). My top picks would be:

• White Rose – ask for Gavin; beautiful, elegant wines.
Winderlea – Reid is a good guy; love their wines.
• Alexana – a newer estate, see if Christie is available; really tasty wines.
• Lange Estate – a family that’s been in the industry since its early days; great wines.

That should be a full day – typically I recommend no more than 3-4 wineries in a day.

Answered by Ryan Reichert, Ask Oregon Wine Expert on August 29th, 2012 - Post Your Answer

We are traveling to Portland and would love to take right off and go on a nature excurion. We are considering Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helen’s. Can you tell us which you would recommend and why? In both cases, can you recommend a wonderful place to stop for exquisite dining and wining? something we would never find on the East Coast? – Jan M.

Mount Saint Helens is going to be pretty much out of the question. Due to the time you have available, the drive is too lengthy for you to enjoy yourself. Most of the visitor center’s don’t open until May 18th either and the dining options in the area are limited, to say the least.

Mount Hood, however, is maybe an hour and a half from the airport, and you would have plenty of time to explore once you get there. Timberline Lodge is definitely something you won’t get on the East Coast. They feature Northwest cuisine and an extensive wine list including a large number of Oregon wines. In fact, they have the largest wine list in the state. You can’t go wrong there.

If you are looking for something even closer with more time to fit some hiking in, try a drive along the historic highway in the Columbia River Gorge. The Tippy Canoe near Troutdale has the best seafood this side of the coast, a  great wine list and cocktail menu. If the weather is warm and dry, they have a beautiful outdoor dining area featuring stone tables, fire pits, and patio heaters if it’s a little bit chilly.

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We are trying to plan a trip for later this year. We want to take in some more of Portland’s best, especially the scenic aspects of the Oregon Coast and perhaps some other spectacular sites (we love state and Nat’l Parks, great landscapes, farmland, trees, green space, etc.). We’re also trying to figure out how many days to try to set aside (5 – 12 days, max).

Highway 101 runs along the entire Oregon coast, from Washington State to California. There are state parks worth visiting along the entire stretch. Especially scenic are the stretches between Cannon Beach and Manzanita on the North Coast, and near Coos Bay on the South Coast (especially Shore Acres State Park).

If you’re also interested in history, Lewis and Clark National Historic Park  on the North Coast is fantastic, and also includes beautiful scenery. Astoria, Oregon, on the very NW tip of the state is a great place to start exploring the coast.

Closer to Portland, you might want to plan to visit Oregon’s wine country for rolling hills, beautiful farm land, and of course picturesque wineries! Learn more here.

Also not far from Portland, the Columbia River Gorge has some of the most impressive landscapes in the state.

Answered by Dave Strom on March 8th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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I may be going through Portland to visit wine shops. Any recommendations, hidden little gems?

In Portland proper you should definitely check out ENSO Winery. Also, Liner & Elsen Wines does some excellent tastings on the weekends in NW Portland. Safe travels and happy tasting!

Answered by Ryan Reichert, Ask Oregon Wine Expert on February 3rd, 2012 - Post Your Answer

Need Oregon winery recommendations for a colleague traveling to Portland area soon…suggestions?

Favorites: J.K. Carriere WinesTrisaetum, Seven of Hearts Wine, Anderson Family, Ghost Hill and Vidon. I also recommend the Carlton Winemakers Studio, several small production labels: Brittan and Retour and, for a handy (albeit not to scale) map of everything, have her check this site.

Answered by Ryan Reichert, Ask Oregon Wine Expert on February 3rd, 2012 - Post Your Answer

Where can I find a delicious Cabernet? Is it unheard of in Oregon?

You’re in luck! Even though Oregon is definitely famous for Pinot Noir, that is not to say that Cabernet is left out. Turn your attention to Southern Oregon Wine for a bounty of bold reds including Cab, Merlot, Tempranillo, Syrah, Zinfandel, and others. I really enjoy those by Troon Vineyard and Cliff Creek Cellars. Soléna Estate and Zenas Wines have some great options too using fruit sourced from southern Oregon. While the former two are based in Southern Oregon, all four have tasting rooms in Carlton, OR if you’re in the Willamette Valley. Hope this helps get you started!

Answered by Ryan Reichert, Ask Oregon Wine Expert on February 3rd, 2012 - Post Your Answer

Looking for a good wine tour outside of Eugene. Any thoughts?

If you’re looking for a guide/driver check with Ralph at Grape Escape out of Portland. or Byron who is based in Eugene at Grand Cru Wine Tours. I’ve met both of them when I worked in a tasting room myself, and would highly recommend them.

Answered by Ryan Reichert, Ask Oregon Wine Expert on February 3rd, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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