It’s always a great idea to celebrate Oregon wine but during May, it’s especially so. It’s Oregon Wine Month. Throughout the month, the state festively recognizes one of its great achievements in the form of incredible events and gatherings all over the Willamette Valley and beyond.
Indoor & Outdoor Celebrations
Grand tastings like Pour Oregon in Portland kick things off, showcasing countless area producers under one roof. There’s I Love Gamay for the Beaujolais-minded crowd, a weekend devoted to Gamay Noir and its expanding role in the Oregon wine scene. Or, take in some live music at Elizabeth Chambers Cellar every Friday of the month, situated just a short walk from the Atticus Hotel.
More intrepid tasters should consider vineyard hikes like the one offered by Kramer Vineyard. Explore experimental rows of Gruner Veltliner and Pinot Meunier with a glass in hand. Alternatively, take in everything spring has to offer at the Budbreak Celebration at Knudsen Vineyards. Enjoy wine from one of the oldest vineyards in the area from their estate cabin high atop the Dundee Hills.
Treat mom to any number of Mother’s Day celebrations, like the mimosa-themed affair at Eola Hills, brunch at Coria Estates in Salem or expanded tastings at Airlie in Monmouth. One can barrel taste at Winter’s Hill in Dundee or sample a lesser-known variety like Marchel Foch at August Cellars in Newberg.
Flights of Fancy
Oregon Wine Month is not limited to cellars and tasting rooms. Many area restaurants take part in the fun. Wine country eateries like Bistro Maison, The Barberry, Ruddick/Wood and The Blue Goat will all offer special flights of Oregon wines. Portland-area restaurants are involved as well, like Urban Farmer, Andina, Ned Ludd and Cooper’s Hall.
Memorial Day Weekend
Like a fireworks display, the month finishes strong with one of the biggest events of the year. Memorial Weekend in Wine Country sees scores of area labels entertaining locals and tourists alike with special tastings, vineyard tours, live entertainment and creative food pairings. The long weekend has become the Valley’s unofficial preface to summer and is not to be missed by wine enthusiasts.
There is not a bad month to enjoy the splendor of Oregon wine country but May holds a special place in our heart. Boasting longer days, blooming vineyards and an abundance of tasting room activity, it’s the perfect time to drink in the Willamette Valley before the summer masses come.