Oregon Wine Country Thanksgiving
Since the early 80’s, Willamette Valley wine country has opened its tasting room and cellar doors to the wine loving masses over Thanksgiving weekend. What started as a trickle has turned into a bonafide outpouring, with some 130 area wineries all in the festive mix.
Some call it a fitting end to another harvest, others call it the best weekend of the year to be meandering around in Willamette Valley wine country, glass in hand. Whatever its official title, Oregon Wine Country Thanksgiving is a 36-year-old tradition soaked in great wines, cozy hospitality and the selfless spirit that’s synonymous with both the holiday season and the general Willamette Valley vibe.
This year, explore just how dynamic this three-day weekend is, by talking up your favorite vintner or sampling straight from the barrel. Discover a new vintage, varietal or winemaking style. Enjoy an unexpected food pairing or sip a festive pour of bubbles. Find the perfect wine country gift for a friend or family member and pay a visit to one of the few producers rarely opened any other time of the year.
- Our beloved neighbors, R. Stuart, are throwing an open house with newly-released 2016 reserve wines and cheeses to match.
- Down the road at Elizabeth Chambers Cellar, sample their inaugural Chardonnay and bites from Valley Commissary to the Brazilian-inspired sounds of Rio Con Brio.
- Pop into Brittan Vineyards on Fifth Street for some library pours and holiday gift sets.
A Vineyard Visit
For some wine country history and a true blue vineyard setting, take a short trip to Yamhill Valley Vineyards. Established in 1983, it is the oldest winery in the McMinnville AVA. The label is teaming up with The Barberry for nibbles to accompany five estate wines over the holiday weekend. But for winemaker Ariel Eberle, the holiday weekend is about so much more.
“Around Thanksgiving as we’re pressing off the last Pinots and monitoring the lazy Riesling ferments it feels quite natural to step into the vineyard and give thanks for the bounty they’ve provided,” says Eberle.
“I also find myself giving thanks for all of the new and old bonds that have been strengthened by all the hard work that’s been done together,” she adds. “This amazing region allows us the opportunity to make beautiful wines with wonderful friends.”
The Grand Celebration
A marquee Willamette Valley draw, Oregon Wine Country Thanksgiving is not to be missed. The Atticus Hotel is in the heart of the wine-themed party and happy to share in the festive, feel-good energy of the late autumn weekend. Peruse the Willamette Valley Wineries Association listings, create an itinerary and mark your calendars for one of the Valley’s grandest celebrations.