here 1 LegacyPostID: numheaderimagerows: 1 LegacyFeaturedImage:

Discover Private Wine Tasting just 30 minutes from Portland

Wine country in cellar season is special. It’s the time of year when wine reposes quietly in barrels and the hustle and bustle of winemaking slows to a thoughtful trickle. During January, February and March, there are no vines to prune, no fruit to tend, no grapes to harvest, no urgent pressing, punching, or bottling. The holidays are over, and you can virtually sense the collective deep breath taken by workers and wine alike. 

Get a jump on the 40th anniversary celebrations of the AVA by visiting the Willamette Valley during cellar season. For local tips, insider access and expert insights, take a Hidden Gems winery tour with First Nature Tours. Guided, group tours are a perfect way to explore the Willamette Valley and pricing includes multiple activities, a delicious lunch, and private transportation to and from your destination. All you need to do is hop into the luxury van and enjoy the view of orchards, forests, vineyards, and fields.

On the Hidden Gems Winery Tour you'll experience the rich agricultural communities south of Portland in Clackamas County, on the eastern side of the Willamette Valley. You’ll access the area the same way travelers did a century ago, by catching a ride on the postage-stamp-sized Canby Ferry. This historic cable ferry has been operating since 1914, with capacity for six cars. The short journey across the Willamette River offers an insight into how rivers were crossed throughout the Pacific Northwest before bridges dominated the landscape. Portland alone had at least 16 ferries in the pre-bridge era, and Oregon had over 500. If time permits, you can enjoy a stop in downtown Canby for some small-town charm and Oregon Trail history.

Your first stop will be Pete’s Mountain Vineyard & Winery offers soaring views of Mount Hood from its vineyards overlooking the Willamette and Tualatin Rivers. Sip on the patio on a clear day, or in the cozy candle-lit rustic barn if the weather’s blustery. Fun fact: both winemakers at Pete’s Mountain were born on tropical French islands – one on Guadeloupe, and one on Réunion. 

Pete’s Mountain has a near-perfect micro-climate. Located above the confluence of the Tualatin and Willamette rivers, where the fog hangs heavy on fall mornings. Pete’s mountain combines cool nights and warm days for ideal grape growing conditions.

Enjoy lunch at St. Josef’s Winery, where the wine, the hospitality, and the tasting room reflect the founder’s Hungarian roots. This early pioneer in the Oregon Wine industry, one of the first 30 wineries in the state, released its first vintage in 1983, and continues crafting a wide variety of fine wines as a family-run enterprise. Stroll the grounds or hang around the fire pit if weather permits. The lake below the tasting room provides views of the vines, at St Josef's over 90% of their fruit is estate grown on Jory soil vineyards in the Canby area of the Willamette Valley.

Additional tempting wines await at Alexeli Vineyard, where early 80’s vines of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Muller-Thurgau European grape varietals surround woodlands and a small lake. This family-run enterprise is in the scenic foothills of the Cascades and dedicated to sustainable production.

With cellar season hospitality, and an expert guide at the wheel, you’ll have a memorable experience with First Nature Tours. Guided, group tours are a perfect way to explore the Pacific Northwest at an accessible price point. Pricing includes multiple activities, a delicious lunch and private transportation to and from your destination.

Book your Hidden Gems Winery Tour running through March 2024.

Book Now
Cozy Hotel Specials for a Luxurious Cellar Season

Bring the taste of cellar season home to savor. The First Nature van has plenty of room for your liquid souvenirs, and Oregon Wines Fly Free for Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan™ members. You may check up to one case of wine for free on any Alaska Airlines domestic flight from Oregon, Washington, Idaho or California. The program even offers complementary tastings at more than 300 participating wineries, with your mileage plan membership and recent in-bound boarding pass.

Learn More

Your adventure begins with the official Willamette Valley Travel Guide. Request your complimentary printed guide or download a digital guide today.

©2024 Willamette Valley Visitors Association

Site by Drozian Webworks