Guest Author - Erin Floresca
Thereís absolutely nothing that compares to a fun and flavorful day of wine touring. And California isnít the only primo location on the west coast to sample these exquisite liquid grape creations. Oregon has earned its reputation for producing award-winning wines. The Willamette Valley is Oregonís leading wine region and has been recognized globally as a producer of premier Pinot Noirs. In factóthere are over 200 wineries in the region! And Oregon, being an RV-friendly state, also has several RV parks and RV accessible roads situated near these superb wineries.
Where to Park the Rig
There are several nice places to park your RV right in the heart of wine country. Start your visit at Champoeg State Heritage Area located just a few miles off I-5 near the town of Newberg. This beautiful state park offers two campground loops and an abundance of historical and recreational opportunities.
Two privately-owned RV parks can be found right in the heart of wine country. Portland-Dayton RV Park in Dayton has 190 full hookup sites, a camp store, WiFi access and a pool. Olde Stone Village RV Park near McMinnville is a big rig friendly park with most sites being 70 feet in length. The park has a seasonal heated pool, clubhouse, free cable, a childrenís playground and is located right next to the famed Spruce Goose.
Where to Wine
There are just so many excellent wineries in the Willamette Valley that I just suggest visiting as many as you can. A large percentage of the wineries offer complementary tastings. Some of my favorites include:
Shafer Vineyard Cellars in Forest Grove has a vast selection of affordable and tasty wines is served up complementary by owner Miki Shafer. Van Duzer Vineyards, located in the Van Duzer Corridor, is a beautiful estate that serves up exceptional wines in a cozy and scenic tasting room. Anne Amie Vineyards near Carlton has out-of-this-world Pinots served up in one of the most beautiful settings in Oregon. Bring a picnic lunch and plan to stay for awhile. Eola Hills Wine Cellars in Rickreall has a great selection of superb wines offered in a friendly and charming tasting room.
Where to Dine
There are plenty of dining options in the area, but these restaurants are especially noteworthy because of their veg-friendly menu items. Visit historic Dundee for a culinary experience at The Dundee Bistro. This restaurant, owned by the Ponzi wine family, is a popular destination offering a great wine selection and freshly-prepared food. Tinaís features delicious and healthful seasonal and regional meals daily that complement the local wines. Fresh and local is the theme at From Farm to Fork in which offers exquisite meals all created from locally-sourced ingredients.
Head south on Highway 99W towards the quaint town of McMinnville and dine at La Rambla Restaurant & Bar which blends the flavors of the Pacific Northwest with the exciting cuisine of Spain. The restaurant features tapas, entrees and desserts along with an outstanding wine list. Golden Valley Brewery & Restaurant features an extensive menu of fresh, healthy food along with a large selection of handcrafted beer.