You’d think it’s strange for the Pacific Northwest to have such delicious wine, especially when we have such long stretches of rain and cloudy weather. For one, the region east of the Cascade Range is significantly drier than the area west of the mountains, so much so that 2012 was dubbed by Wine Enthusiast magazine as “a Goldilocks vintage for Washington”. It was a record-breaking year for wine production, and the following years have been just as fruitful (pun intended!).

It’s for this reason that we like to share our wine with the world, and especially why we created  a cruise that’s dedicated just to sampling what’s produced. We wanted to highlight some of the wineries along the way, so that if you end up booking, you can have some insights on what you’ll be sipping on!

1. Shallon Winery

Located in Astoria, Shallon is a one-man operation producing some of the most unique wines (and visiting experiences) in the entire country. Don’t be fooled by the size of the operation; Paul, Shallon’s winemaker, has been featured in magazines as being one of the premier winemakers in America. You’d be crazy not to try his chocolate orange wine, which is raved about by all who try it.

Red pinot noir is poured from the bottle into a wine glass

2. Portland Wine Bar

Since our trip starts, ends and makes a stop in Portland, we wanted to suggest at least one wine bar in the area. Portland Wine Bar has an extremely dedicated owner with a deep knowledge of both wine and the area in general. The focus here is also on Pinot Noir, though Portland Wine Bar pulls wines from small Oregon and Washington wineries so the selection is constantly rotating. The location, being just off Pioneer Square in downtown Portland, is ideal for a stop-by as you stroll the area. 

3. Mt. Hood Winery

You’ll catch this winery during the “Fruit Loop” tour, a route famous for its views, fruit stands, orchards and, of course, vineyards. You’ll also catch a beautiful view of Mt. Hood itself, if the weather is clear enough. The Pear Wine and Rosé are both to-die-for, and a must try for your visit!

4. ADEA Winery

ADEA sits along the Sip 47 winery road tour, a string of wineries on Oregon’s Highway 47 that runs from McMinnville through Forest Grove. ADEA is a highlight of our Wine Tasting Tour, as the owners’ personalities alone are often enough to keep people coming back. Beyond personality, you can’t forget about the wines. This family-run winery has found success through their Pinot Noir – they’ve produced all sorts of varieties which beg to be tasted.

5. Apolloni Vineyards

Great wine, comfortable atmosphere, and personable staff…it’s hard not to like Apolloni Vineyards (which is also along the Sip 47 route). Their Viognier gets rave reviews, a sweet and aromatic wine similar to a Chardonnay.

These vineyards are just a taste of what’s carrying on the record-breaking harvest just a few years ago. They are all included on our Columbia River Wine Tasting Cruise, one of the most convenient ways to sample as much of our region’s wine as possible.

The best part? We like to keep a smaller passenger load, so you’ll never be rushed or ‘herded along’, like with large carriers.

Arrange your visit to the best wineries in Oregon and Washington now on a Columbia River Cruise!