Gorge Wine Adventures
–– A Winter’s Trail: Hood River ––
A delightful two-day winter wine itinerary in
beautiful Hood River featuring boutique wineries,
fun activities and delicious food experiences.
Columbia Gorge Wine Country> Hood River:
Our winter wine adventure centers around downtown Hood River, Oregon. An alluring 60 minute drive from Portland along the Columbia River through some of the country's most beautiful landscape will relax and prepare you for a getaway to remember.
Traveling along the Columbia River from Portland becomes the gateway to an adventurous land where your top priorities immediately become enjoyment and exploration. Unveiling one amazing view after another along the quick drive through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, you’ll know that it only gets better from here.
Take exit 63 for Hood River’s city center and be welcomed to a place where things move just a bit slower and seem just a bit easier to accomplish. Let your adventure begin...
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With so many options you’re sure to enjoy lunch at this enchanting delicatessen. Stepping through the front door you’ll be welcomed by the mouthwatering aromas of Boda’s homemade delights and greeted by a kind face.
SECRET TIP: Boda’s often has an inventory of the best, sold-out wines of the region. Make sure to check out their selections!
If you’re excited to get to your next stop, ask for picnic lunch options. They offer many cheese and charcuterie selections and other wine-friendly foods, and they know how to pack a picnic just right. Build-your-own gourmet picnic right at the counter or call ahead on your drive out to save time. See their daily specials on social media.
Dine-in options are also quick, easy and indulgent. Known for their “Comfort gourmet” menu, many vegan and vegetarian options and extremely friendly staff, it will easily become your favorite lunch stop every time you’re in Hood River.
You’ll feel as though you’ve traveled back in time, heading past the old train station and into this 100-year- old building. Originally a pear cannery and now housing this very special winery, Springhouse Cellar's tasting room is fun to explore and the tasting experience is captivating.
SECRET TIP: If you’re lucky enough to taste with John, ask lots of questions. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable about the wine, he’s also an ornithologist, carpenter and foodie! Plan for extra time for this tasting to get the full “John treatment.”A local’s favorite is the Ruins Red; a red blend modeled after that of the Tuscan region when winemaker rebellion incited the blending of Bordeaux varietals with Sangiovese. It’s superb.
Photo: Full Sail Brewing Company
Time permitting we recommend checking into your hotel and spending the rest of the day exploring what Hood River has to offer on foot.
A beautiful walk along the Columbia River waterfront offers over three miles of trail beginning in front of the Hood River Inn and finishing on the west end of the waterfront park. Stop for coffee along the way, enjoy various sculptures by local artists and soak in the beauty of the Gorge.
The window displays of the Hood River boutiques are pretty fascinating. Grab a coffee from any of the many, local roasters and take a stroll through downtown. Peruse rare and unique items including clothing, housewares, sporting goods and jewelry, much of which is locally made.
Hood River is also becoming known for brilliant, local artists and we encourage you to take the time to enjoy the many pieces featured throughout town, or pop into the local galleries:
**Please inquire for unique hours of operation
This winery played a huge role in the establishment of the Columbia Gorge AVA and makes Zinfandel from their century-old estate vineyard. The owners, a father/daughter team, are known for their emphasis on quality viticulture and it really shows through the wine.
SECRET TIP: This winery has an incredible library of past vintages. If you call ahead you can book a private tasting for only $20/person to taste a special flight paired with small bites and then have access to purchase the library wines. AND they apply $10 of the tasting fee towards your purchase!
Enjoying a tasting at The Pines always comes with a healthy helping of information. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly and you can’t help but swoon for their passion as they share their stories from vine to bottle.
Having become part of the bedrock of the community, you’ll find many locals at the tasting room on Friday nights for their live music and dancing (6-9pm).
This winery is on a mission to cut the divorce rate in half by inviting couples to turn off the technology and share a glass of wine together nightly. It’s admirable to say the least, but once you experience Naked Winery you’ll believe that they might actually do it!
A tasting with any of the staff will start you out giggling a bit and leave you writing your own jokes and laughing into the night. They seem to value a really enjoyable experience over telling you about how their wine is superior.
To complement the anti-snobbery, they have something for everyone. This statement is used often, but with Naked Winery it’s true. They offer wines of all styles and varieties and even have beer for those who aren’t quite ready to cross over into vino-land.
SECRET TIP: Ask to see the club room. It’s a members-only wine library, but if you ask to look around you might just get lucky enough to try a reserve wine too. Warning- you’ll want to be members by the time you’re done.
Keep in mind, their wines make great gifts. With clever names and provocative back labels they’re gratifying to give away. You can give a gift of playfulness and possibly help save a marriage!
Perched on a bluff overlooking the Gorge, Full Sail is known for having one of the best views in Hood River. The brewery is always hopping (pun intended) and the winter season is a great time to take advantage of what this brew pub has to offer.
The menu, fresh and tasty, just like the beers, is regionally inspired and complements their delicious brews with seasonal, local ingredients.
You can enjoy a pint of one of the 14 different tap choices or opt for a Beer Taster Tray that offers six different 5 oz. brews (and you even get to keep a souvenir glass). They also have a selection of yummy local wine and cider.
SECRET TIP: They give brewery tours at 1, 2, 3, and 4 p.m. every day. Tour guides lead you on a fun and informative tour of the brewhouse where you meet the people behind the pints and learn about the art and science of crafting beer. The tour lasts about 30 minutes, is free and comes with a complimentary pint glass! We highly recommend the tour.
Don’t forget the best highlight of winter - our favorite seasonal brew; Wassail Winter Ale.
Aview of the Columbia River is so serene and empowering, why shouldn’t you enjoy it from your own room? Set right on the waterfront, the Hood River Inn also offers a heated, shoreline pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs and shoreline fitness center and sauna. It’s resort-like in its amenities and exceptionally cozy and friendly for a hotel of this size.
Enjoy breakfast (or brunch) at the highly rated Riverside Restaurant and try one of the locally-renowned bloody marys and the epicurean cuisine.
SECRET TIP: Make sure to ask for a room with a view. Most often the additional cost is nominal and waking up to a view of the Columbia River is a positively mood-altering experience. Treat yourself!
A perfect launch for so many activities, Hood River Inn is conveniently located along the waterfront trail for a quick walk into downtown or easy access to both highways at the intersection of Hwy 35 and I-84.
You won’t find a more adorable little tasting room. Tucked away in an alcove downtown, this hidden spot could, but should not, be missed. From their organic vineyards nestled 1,000 feet over the Columbia River on Underwood Mountain, Cerulean makes a beautiful lineup of cool-climate varietal wines and two select blends. Be sure to try the very unique Tempranillo which offers brilliant acidity and bright cherry aromas. The selected sampling of wines changes each week for multi-visit benefits, so check back for a chance to try something new.
SECRET TIP: They have wonderful events at the Vineyard in the summer and also have a tasting room in Portland's Pearl District, which hosts so many fun activities. Follow them on Facebook to get invites.
Beyond their elegant award- winning wines, family-owned Cerulean is also memorable for their kind and enjoyable staff. The name Cerulean is derived from the Latin word for Heaven and clear, blue skies, reminiscent of the perfect summer skies over the Gorge.
The easy drive to this lookout spot offers a breathtaking view of Mt. Hood and the whole Hood River Valley.
It’s a great place to commemorate your adventure with a beautiful photo and take in some lasting breaths of fresh, Gorge air.
We hope to see you again soon!
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