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Portland Wine Country

If you’re into wine, Oregon is a great place to explore. Famous for its Pinot Noir, the Willamette Valley American Vitaculture Area, broken up into 11 nested AVAs with more than 700 wineries, is close enough to Portland for day trips to winery tasting rooms. To get a feel for the wine industry, a good place to start is the Willamette Valley Wineries Association Regional Map. There are over 230 wineries highlighted on the map. Some of the nearest areas to tour are west of Portland around Forest Grove, and southwest of Portland in the Newberg/Dundee Hills area, both of which are about a 40-minute drive, depending on time and traffic.  

There are many options for both small private, and larger group wine tours out to the various nested AVAs, or if you’re like me, you can trust in serendipity and just head out to an area and search for wineries in your maps app. I’ve found some of my favorite spots that way. For the Dundee Red Hills area, I recommend Sokol Blosser and Argyle, but you can’t go wrong just driving out northwest of town, where you’ll find tasting rooms at every turn. In the Forest Grove area I like David Hill, and if you’re into Sake, try the tasting room at Sake One. 

If you don’t have the time to make it out to one of the tasting rooms in the country, don’t let that stop you from enjoying a great glass of Oregon wine. There are some great wine bars and bottle shops in town that allow you to taste your way across the region, from the Willamette to the Columbia Gorge, down to the Applegate Valley, and other hotter regions in the southern part of the state.

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