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Rows of grapevines growing in autumn in a Willamette Valley vineyard

Oregon

7 Musts For Foodies in Oregon Wine Country

By: Samantha Crespo

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  • States:
    Oregon

In the Willamette Valley – Oregon’s leading wine region – the natural bounty translates to unique culinary experiences.

Be sure to include these on your discovery of Oregon Wine Country.

1. Dine at a winery.

Imagine sitting amid a lush vineyard. A meal is served, featuring locally grown foods. It is paired with wines made from the grapes growing all around you. Such is the experience at King Estate in Eugene and Willamette Valley Vineyards in Turner. At these wineries, full-service restaurants create menus that showcase seasonal ingredients and wines that complement them perfectly.

Dinner in the field at Terra Vina Wines in Wilsonville

Dinner in the field at Terra Vina Wines in Wilsonville
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2. Discover the best wine lists.

Annually, the Oregon Wine Board and Oregon Wine Press magazine announce the Oregon Wine A-List Awards, a roster of chefs and sommeliers committed to building outstanding Oregon-based wine cellars. The distinction grants diners access to a diverse array of Oregon wines and experts to guide their selections.

Look for Oregon Wine A-List Award recipients, including The Joel Palmer House, that stock cellars with Oregon wines to pair with food

Look for Oregon Wine A-List Award recipients, including The Joel  Palmer House, that stock cellars with Oregon wines to pair with food
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3. Forage for your food.

During the cool, mild winter season, hire a guide to join a truffle hunt. Sample native, wild fungi on local menus. Or attend the Oregon Truffle Festival. In late January, the festival presents cooking classes, truffle tastings and wine pairings, foraging parties and a grand dinner.

Inspired entree plating at the Oregon Truffle Festival

Inspired entree plating at the Oregon Truffle Festival
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4. Pedal for your pinot.

Oregon Wine Country presents epic cycling terrain with views and stops to match. Cycle the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway – the country's first officially designated Scenic Bikeway – to trace the Willamette River past family farms, hazelnut orchards, hop fields and vineyards. Pack a picnic and do a day ride, or allow several days for the full 193-kilometer route.

Biking through Ankeny Vineyard on the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway

Biking through Ankeny Vineyard on the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway
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5. Celebrate the seasons.

Each new season brings delicious experiences in Oregon Wine Country. In spring, enjoy farmers markets and Oregon Wine Month (May). Outdoor dining and concerts reign in summer along with July’s Oregon Craft Beer Month and the International Pinot Noir Celebration. Fall brings harvest parties and November’s Oregon Wine Country Thanksgiving. Winter is full of hiking and truffle-hunting.

Freshly picked berries at a farmers market

Freshly picked berries at a farmers market
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Vernon Williams

6. Feast at a farm.

Savor food and tranquil views at area farms. Farm-goers might indulge in chocolate-dipped cherries at Salem’s Cherry Country Orchard, enjoy a meal at Gathering Together Farm outside Corvallis, stroll the wildly beautiful Midway Farms in Albany, or attend one of the spectacular farm dinners organized by Field & Vine Events.

7. Go beyond wine.

Don’t overlook beers, ciders, meads or spirits for the full picture of what local producers and ingredients can do. For a unique taste, sip WildCraft Cider Works’ varieties, made from Oregon apples, and explore the Eugene Ale Trail, a route that leads to a number of stand-out craft breweries.

Enjoying the experience with a toast along the Eugene Ale Trail

Enjoying the experience with a toast along the Eugene Ale Trail
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Travel Lane County
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