Wine Tasting On The Way to Chehalem Ridge B&B
Chehalem Ridge Bed & Breakfast has been welcoming Oregon’s thirsty wine country visitors to its mountaintop oasis since 2007. As a long-running bed & breakfast steeped in wine culture and dedicated to top-notch concierge service, we know that vacation begins before you get to our doorstep. Whether you are driving in from the North, South or West, we encourage you to get a taste of what’s in store for you on your wine country vacation by stopping at these top wineries before you check in at Chehalem Ridge B&B.
Southbound from PDX Airport and Seattle
If you’ve just landed mid-day at Portland International Airport or you’re driving south from the Seattle area, you’ll find yourself approaching Newberg on 99W (local tip: say the W, don’t say “west”). Here are two top Chehalem Mountain AVA wineries to check out before you check in to Chehalem Ridge Bed & Breakfast.
Tucked into the woodsy rolling hills outside of Sherwood, Hawks View Winery is a lively spot to immerse yourself in the wine country lifestyle. Seated on the deck with a glass of White Pinot Noir, a vineyard view, and a tasty board of charcuterie and cheese, you can feel the stress of travel just melt away.
Just 30 minutes outside of downtown Portland, Hawks View is open later than most wineries and perfect for out-of-towners or just-out-of-workers who long for a winery experience before tasting rooms close for the day. After your flight of Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, you’ll be truly ready to start your cozy getaway at Chehalem Ridge B&B just 15 minutes southwest of Hawks View. Open Wednesday to Sunday with reservations highly recommended.
If you’re a wine lover familiar with Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, you may have heard of Rex Hill wine, established in 1983. But if you haven’t been to their beautiful Newberg estate, right off Highway 99W as you enter wine country, now is definitely the time to visit. At just over 10 minutes from Chehalem Ridge B&B, make a reservation at Rex Hill before you check in, and relish in their new spacious and elegant tasting room, complete with floor to ceiling windows, a wrap-around deck, and valley views.
While their flights change regularly, our recent tasting in the winter included a bright, yet delicate Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine and a beautifully crisp Chardonnay. That was followed by a series of Pinot Noir, each dynamic in their own way and showcasing the range of valley terroirs they were born in. Open Wednesday – Monday, with reservations required and proof of vaccination for all indoor tastings.
Eastbound from Cannon Beach and North Oregon Coast
Oregon visitors rarely miss a trip to the Oregon coast. The beautiful ruggedness and proximity from Portland makes Cannon Beach and neighboring towns popular bucket list locations. Most travelers take Highway 26 east, and we highly suggest then diverting southeast onto Highway 8 through lush forest to visit the first of these two wineries, then on to Highway 219 to the second, leading you right to Chehalem Ridge B&B.
About an hour from Cannon Beach and located on 100 acres just outside the lovely town of Forest Grove, Apolloni Vineyards welcomes visitors year-round. In the warmer months, you can taste a wonderful array of wine “courtside,” next to the bocce ball courts and vineyards. In the winter, guests can sit on their covered, heated patio or inside, where much of their winery’s barrel room has been transformed into a rustic, sunshine-laden and cozy tasting space.
For our winter tasting flight, the whites and rosé were paired with housemade popcorn, each reflecting a different flavor and complimenting Apolloni’s selection. Their Spumante Sparkling wine, unique for the valley and barrel-aged for seven years, was a highlight as well as their easy-drinking 2018 Pinot Noir Cuvee. And if you’re lucky, and they haven’t sold out, you’ll get to try the estate grown Sangiovese. Unchartered territory for most Willamette Valley winemakers, but fits in perfectly with the Italian roots of this Oregon winery. Open Thursday – Monday, with reservations highly recommended.
If you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a bite at the South Store Café at the corner where OR-219 intersects OR-210. This slightly askew building has housed general stores, community gatherings and now a quaint café over its 120+ years. The menu of sandwiches is complemented by their tasty soups and a full pastry case of delightful desserts. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-2 or 3pm
Your next stop to check out before you check in with us at Chehalem Ridge B&B is Hillsboro’s Raptor Ridge Winery. The estate, located off OR-219 N and situated among the foothills of Chehalem Mountain, is home to a small family-owned boutique winery with a not-so-small array of finely crafted wine. Sourcing from vineyards throughout the Willamette Valley, you can expect to learn and taste how wine can vary based on its terroir. Relax, learn and sip your way through a flight of white wine, with the Eola-Amity Auxerrois as a stand-out and LIVE certified Estate Grown Pinots. They also make a bigger Tempranillo using grapes from southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley. Always quick to sell out, is their méthode champenoise Brut Rosé, but if it’s available, buy it.
If you’re tasting at Raptor Ridge on a clear blue day, you may have view of four different mountains – Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, even Mt. Rainier far off in the distance. Closer in, you’ll see their sustainable farming practices give abundant life to acres of their Tuscowallame vineyard, starting right off the deck. Open daily, with reservations highly recommended and vaccinated guests appreciated
Northbound From Salem and California via I-5N
Driving from points south towards wine country, we recommend getting off I-5 N at Salem towards Amity for a beautiful route with no shortage of wineries to choose from. Here are a couple we recommend you check out before you check in with us at Chehalem Ridge B&B.
With a dizzying array of aromatic white wines supplemented with notable reds, Brooks is a wine tasting experience you’ll want to add to your list. As Brooks is one of the biggest producers of Riesling in the region, you’ll taste a range of Rieslings from dry to off-dry to sweet. Their estate vineyards are managed with biodynamic farming practices and dedication to terroir-inspired wines – Pinot Noir, Syrah, Tempranillo & Muscat to name a few – make this gorgeous estate a great introduction to our vast and plentiful wine country. If you’re hungry, make sure to order from their lunch menu. What’s not organically grown on site is local-sourced and deliciously prepared by their chef.
If you’re driving in from Salem or California, be sure to take OR-221 towards Amity to visit this B-Corp winery. If you have an electric vehicle, it’s a great place to power up with their charging stations available for guest use. Make reservations ahead of time to ensure your spot. Open daily, with reservations highly recommended.
After the vineyard views on the drive through Eola-Amity region, you’ll come to Highway 99W and through the famed Willamette Valley wine country town of Dundee. More than a dozen tasting rooms dot the sides of the 2-lane highway; here we highlight a stop at Dobbes Family Estate, on the right side at the stop light, so easy access on and off the road. Here, you’ll be greeted by warm and friendly tasting associates and seated in a comfortably chic canopied indoor/outdoor area called the Hideaway Lounge. The welcoming ambiance of the bustling tasting room is a great atmosphere to enjoy their diverse tasting flight. The Pinots are wonderfully balanced and represent the varied characters of Willamette Valley wine. As the flight changes monthly, you might find a delightful surprise, like the Grenache Blanc that we were served. And for the dessert wine lover, make sure to ask if they have any open for tasting. They have a few! For wine connoisseurs who are accompanied by beer connoisseurs, there is also a revolving tap with a local guest brew.
Dobbes Family Estate has a bit of something for everyone, including a locally-sourced charcuterie & cheese tray, educational guided tastings and on some nights in the summer, live music. Open daily 11-6, with reservations suggested.
Wine Tasting on Your Way to Your Chehalem Ridge B&B Experience…
Not every winery leads to us at Chehalem Ridge Bed & Breakfast… or do they? Wherever you’re coming from, you can check out these top Oregon wineries before you check in to Chehalem Ridge Bed & Breakfast. Once you get here, you can sit back, relax and unwind. Each morning, we’ll pamper you with a guided 3-course gourmet breakfasts with our knowledgeable, friendly staff who can help you plan more days of wine tasting, or hiking, or eating, or whatever the Valley holds for you. We’ll make sure you have everything you need to make the most of your wine country vacation.
By Liz Bethell, Assistant Innkeeper