Annual Wine Events Throughout Oregon's Washington County
Located in the lush, fertile Willamette Valley, Oregon's Washington County is a prime wine destination in the Pacific Northwest. Those in the know gather at the nearly 30 wineries in the northern end of the valley. From fragrant Pinot Noir to Riesling that tickles the taste buds, dozens of varietals are waiting to be tasted, discussed, and most of all enjoyed. Most tasting rooms in Washington County are open year-round (many open weekends only), and enjoy fewer crowds--even during peak seasons. However, the best times to experience Washington County's wine country are during the annual events, which offer special tastings, entertainment and the chance to visit wineries that usually are not open to the public.
The following is a list of the wine-related events that take place here in the northern tip of the famed wine-growing region, Willamette Valley:
North Willamette Wine Trail Weekend - April: Wineries join together and open their doors for a weekend complete with food, fun, wine and a little education. The event was launched in 2009 and has attracted oenophiles from throughout the region. For the price of admission, wine enthusiasts can visit any of the 25+ wineries during the weekend, each location offering special tastings, food pairings and educational information, such as wine blending, biodynamic farming and more. Guests will receive a commemorative wine glass for complimentary tastings and a bag filled with coupons and other goodies. Not to be left off, designated drivers receive a goody bag as well. Buy tickets for the April 13-14, 2013 event.
Memorial Weekend in Wine Country - May: For 22 years, wineries throughout the Willamette Valley have invited guests to celebrate the dawn of summer during Memorial Day weekend. Many of Washington County's wineries, as well as hundreds of others throughout Oregon, open for the three-day weekend, including several that are not regularly open to the public. This annual event features tastings of new releases, barrel samples, food pairings, live music and other activities. Tasting fees vary from $5-20, and each year, several wineries donate a portion of proceeds to a designated, local charity. (See list of wineries in Oregon's Washington County)
Canines Uncorked - July: Explore North Willamette Valley wine country during this one-of-a-kind event, which invites wine lovers and their faithful four-legged friends to sample complimentary tastings at 11 participating, dog-friendly wineries. All proceeds will benefit the Oregon Humane Society.
Forest Grove Uncorked! - August: Local wine (craft beer and food, too) are given the red carpet treatment every August in the city of Forest Grove. Sample the tastes of the northern Willamette Valley, while enjoying live music, great food and fine local hospitality.
Explore, Tour & Taste - September: Labor Day weekend comes alive during "Explore, Tour & Taste," a taste exploration of the Chehalem Mountains American viticultural area (a.k.a. "AVA"). Eight of Washington County's wineries, located in the rich AVA, are included on the tour, which features pre-harvest vineyard presentations, vineyard walks, grape samplings and, of course wine tasting.
North Willamette Harvest Trail and Grand Tasting - October: The wine harvest season (also known as "crush") usually starts in October, when grapes are picked, destemmed and crushed into juice. This year, for the first time, guests can learn more about the wine harvest by joining a guided tour of three wineries and learning about the many different phases of wine production, from vineyard to barrel. This day-long affair (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) will feature tastings at each of the three wineries visited, lunch and transportation to each location, and will culminate in a Grand Tasting at Garden Vineyards, from 4-6 p.m. Tickets for the Harvest Trail are $79 per person, inclusive; tickets for the Grand Tasting only are $30 and both can be purchased online. (Tickets are limited.)
Thanksgiving Wine Weekend - November: A long-standing tradition in Oregon's Willamette Valley, Wine Country Thanksgiving features open houses at more than 150 wineries throughout the valley. The majority of Washington County's wineries open their doors during this special weekend, and offer special tastings--including tastes of new releases, special pairings and library and barrel tastings--entertainment and light bites. The weekend provides rare opportunities to visit small wineries that are not open to the public, as well as check out the special festivities planned at wineries that are open year-round. Tasting fees vary from $5-20. (See list of wineries in Oregon's Washington County)
Throughout the year, additional wine-related events and special tastings will crop up around Washington County. For the latest events, "like" us on Facebook or visit our Event Calendar. See the complete list of wineries in Oregon's Washington County.