Most of Oregon’s wineries are nestled in its valleys or creep up the south-facing hillsides of the Cascade and Coast Ranges. We were lucky enough to visit five of the state’s eight grape-growing regions during our tour. These included the North Willamette Valley and South Willamette Valley, both in the Willamette Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA), and the state’s largest wine production area, Southern Oregon, Umpqua Valley, and Rogue and Applegate valleys. The remaining regions, Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley and Columbia Gorge, all share their AVAs with the state of Washington.
We toured only a sprinkling of Oregon’s 350-plus wineries, but that titillated our taste buds and introduced us to the high quality of wines available in our nation’s fourth largest wine producing state (preceded only by California, New York and Washington). Even better was finding nice campgrounds and making new friends in each AVA we visited. Happy tasting!
To access most of the wineries on this tour, park your rig at a campground and use your tow vehicle. Check each winery’s individual information for a map, driving directions and tasting room hours. Don’t assume that the RV/bus icon indicates you can actually get in and get out with a large rig. We found that some displaying the icon had low overhanging tree branches, parking for only smaller RVs and no turn-around space when too many vehicles were in the lot.
Click on the “Explore Wine Regions” of the Oregon Advisory Board’s website (www.oregonwine.org) and select the region you want to tour. Then select the individual winery for its information page and directions.
When in doubt, call the winery. You will find Oregon wine people a friendly, helpful bunch, and a pleasure to visit. Many of the wineries and tasting rooms have a tasting fee, with some or all of it refunded with purchase. Be sure to ask at the wineries for a winery guide and map to the area’s wineries.
To read the full taste test of Oregon wines and learn more about the area, find the May issue of Trailer Life on newsstands, or head over to our subscription page!