Our staff’s pick of the West’s best wineries for a quick escape
Sara Schneider, Christina Richard, Elisa Bosley, Amy Marr, Janice Fuhrman, Janine Sieja, Deana Lancaster, Jess Thomson
1 of 6Photo by Jim Henkens; written by Jess Thompson
Light out for the Wild West in Yakima Valley, WA
Mix wine and equine at Cherry Wood Bed, Breakfast, and Barn, where horseback tours take you through Washington’s sunny Rattlesnake Hills AVA. As you taste your way through smaller producers like Agate Field Vineyard, Sheridan Vineyard, and Wineglass Cellars, you’ll learn that Yakima’s wine region isn’t just up-and-coming―it’s here. Info: Horseback tours $150; cherrywoodbbandb.com or 509/829-3500. Bonus tip: For a true taste of winter in the chilly Wild West, bundle up and stay the night in one of Cherry Wood’s well-appointed but unheated tipis ($145, including breakfast). Don’t pass up the apple or cherry turnovers if they’re served for breakfast. And bring plenty of extra fleece.
2 of 6Photo by John Clark; written by Sara Schneider
Join the party in Willamette Valley, OR
Music, food, otherwise unavailable wines, and a convivial (but crowded) atmosphere are what you’ll find at the Willamette Valley’s Wine Country Thanksgiving open houses, when wineries welcome the masses. Info: willamettewines.com for a list of participating wineries and fees. Bonus tip: Hate crowds? Go earlier in the month and hit Winderlea Vineyard & Winery (call for hours; $10 tasting fee; winderlea.com or 503/554-5900), which floats over some of the valley’s oldest vines; cozy Lange Estate Winery ($10 tasting fee; langewinery.com or 503/538-6476), where you can sip singer-songwriter Don Lange and son Jesse’s wines in a new tasting building; and Penner-Ash Wine Cellars (call for hours; $5 tasting fee; pennerash.com or 503/554-5545), which has views to Mt. Hood on clear days.
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Yakima Valley, WA
Tipis at Cherry Wood
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Baja California, Mexico
Don and Tru Miller at their winery, Adobe Guadalupe, one of many along La Ruta del Vino.
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San Luis Obispo, CA
You need not go to great lengths to get good oysters in southern San Luis Obispo County’s Edna Valley.
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Walla Walla, WA
The Inn at Abeja is the ultimate expression of wine "country."