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Time out for a selfie at picturesque Ponzi Vineyards in Sherwood, Oregon

Oregon

Oregon’s Portland Region: Insider Guide to Wine Country and Artisan Culture

By: Zaida Rios

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  • States:
    Oregon

Spend time sipping and sampling in Portland, Oregon, and its surrounding communities known as the Portland Region.

It’s easy to fall for Oregon’s Portland Region. You can bike through alpine forests and rolling vineyard hills, hike scenic trails, indulge in the craft brew scene, and explore the city’s offbeat, laid-back culture. But one thing you can’t miss is the gourmet delights that accompany these active pursuits. This is the gateway to Oregon’s wine country, so expect exceptional wineries in picturesque settings, lively wine bars and specially crafted food items that complement the wine culture.

On the Vine

Clinking wine glasses, platters stacked with gourmet cheese and verdant valleys – it’s all a part of the Portland area’s wine scene. Make your first stop Pete’s Mountain Vineyard & Winery in West Linn. The tasting room and patio here feature stunning vistas of Mt. Hood and the Willamette River. Each summer the vineyard hosts Dinner in the Field, pairing select wines with a chef-created menu. Continue on to Ponzi Vineyards, a family-owned, state-of-the-art winery in Sherwood that’s LIVE Certified Sustainable. You can feel good about protecting the land while you’re sipping pinot noir with views of the Chehalem Mountains. Next, travel to David Hill Vineyards & Winery, a Wine Enthusiast favorite for Old Vine Pinot Noir. You’ll discover a hilltop estate with a cozy historic farmhouse that hosts the tasting room as well as many wine-themed events.

Incredible Mt. Hood views at Pete’s Mountain Vineyard & Winery in West Linn

Incredible Mt. Hood views at Pete’s Mountain Vineyard & Winery in West Linn
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Top Wine Bars

In the city center, local wine bars tempt both connoisseurs and novice tasters with intriguing wine lists, delicious small bites and warm atmospheres. Bubbly-minded wine enthusiasts should head to Ambonnay, Portland’s first bar dedicated to champagne and sparkling wine. Expect fizzy options by the glass and bottle with “nibbles” including artisanal cheeses, mantequilla olives and truffle popcorn. For a little free-spirited fun, check out Pairings Portland Wine Shop & Bar, known as “Portland’s Weirdest Wine Shop & Bar.” Come for the off-the-wall atmosphere (think wine pairings based on your favorite movie characters or astrological signs), but leave with a true appreciation for the thoughtfully sourced wine offerings. Round out your wine bar hop at Bar Vivant, where San Sebastian-inspired pinxtos (tapas) are given a Portland twist. It’s the sort of the place where you expect terrific wine but are equally surprised by extraordinary bar food. The bar shares space with Pix Patisserie, so if you’re in the mood for French macarons, assorted eclairs and Parisian-inspired desserts, you’ve just hit the sweet tooth lottery.

Sip local varietals in wine-focused bars and tasting rooms

Sip local varietals in wine-focused bars and tasting rooms
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Gourmet Maker Culture

As Portland’s wine makers and chefs curate products that reflect their surroundings, it makes perfect sense that makers of artisanal foods and delicacies are thriving as well. For example, Quin Candy conjures up treats like rosé lollipops, while Olympia Provisions handcrafts cured sausages, salamis and pates from meat sourced in the Pacific Northwest; you can find for both items for sale in local retailers. Jacobsen Salt Company harvests sea salt from the Oregon Coast, which is sold alone as a coveted condiment or incorporated into specialty food stuffs such as popular salted caramels. Taste test the pinot noir salt inspired by the Willamette Valley’s signature wine. At Missionary Chocolates, the dairy-free chocolate truffles are luscious with flavors including Meyer lemon, spicy cinnamon and salted caramel. Pick up a scrumptious box or several for gifts. Of course, there’s a chance these confections may not make it back home. Your secret’s safe with us.

Missionary Chocolates truffles topped with Jacobsen Salt and other flavors

Missionary Chocolates truffles topped with Jacobsen Salt and other flavors
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Getting There

Fly into Portland International Airport (PDX) and rent a car to explore the city and surrounding wine country.