Though California has a reputation as the premier wine country destination in the United States, any wine lover would be making a big mistake skipping a visit to the Pacific Northwest. The region overall is probably best known for Pinot Noir, yet the Pacific Northwest has many vineyards and wineries that produce a variety of delicious wines. The scenery is also stunning. This wine country is truly a memorable romantic getaway or a fun weekend with friends.
Oregon’s Willamette Valley is home to significant Pinot Noir production and produces some of the finest Pinot Noir in the United States. With more than 500 vineyards and wineries in Willamette Valley alone, you can taste a range of Pinot Noir bottles as well as other fantastic wines from Oregon.
The valley has several regions, many of which sit between Portland and Salem. However, the best way to visit the valley is to follow a Wine Loop. Because of the overwhelming number of choices and large area you could potentially travel, these Wine Loops offer cohesive wine journeys for you to follow. If you want to get away from the city, your best choice is the Tualatin River Loop. This journey includes Montinore Estate, which is the second-largest biodynamic wine producer in the United States.
Woodinville Wine Country
Washington’s Woodinville Wine Country has 118 wineries in a part of Washington known for its white wine production. To start exploring the major ones, make your base of operations Bellevue, Washington. Bellevue is just 11 miles away on US-405, making it the perfect choice for a wine country hotel in Washington. Then, hop in your car and make the drive to gorgeous vineyards like Chateau Ste. Michelle.
Once you get to Woodinville Wine Country, you can park the car in one of several districts and start walking. The Warehouse District and the Hollywood District are the biggest, with smaller districts adjacent. You can either research wineries before you visit, or simply arrive and decide what looks interesting when you get there. Both choices have benefits for different kinds of travelers.
Walla Walla Valley
The city of Walla Walla and the Walla Walla Valley sit within Columbia Valley’s large expanse and are known for producing delicious red blends. The valley has 120 wineries, which you can find clustered in four major areas: west side, east side, downtown, and south of town. You can even cross the Oregon border to find a few more Walla Walla Valley spots.
You can find Bordeaux blends here, so check out Barons Winery or Woodward Canyon. The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance has even created a mobile app to help visitors navigate the almost 3,000 acres of picturesque wine country in this area.
Are you ready to book your trip to the Pacific Northwest? These are just a few of the wine regions and valleys in the area. The lush hills and rich soil offer wonderful growing conditions for many grape varietals. Your wine journey begins in the Pacific Northwest.