Beyond the car windows rows of grapes—syrahs and cabernets to the left, a dense canopy of concords to the right—merge in a viridescent blur. The Yakima Valley’s fertile scent,which is ripe with grapes and mint, carrots and hops, pervades the car. At this moment, the concords are all-consuming. It is as if the heavens are making jam.
Into the Wilds of One of the World's Most Massive Volcanoes
The mountain roils with scent. Damp earth and moss. Spring seeping up. Then pine, wet stone, and glacial dust being washed downstream. Summer arrives, exploding with the yellow scent of wildflowers and drying earth. Fall is all leaves, evergreen, and a world of mycology fruiting. It is downed needles and duff so sweet ...
Vineyards climb the sides of volcanoes, they terrace above gushing rivers, and they roll through alluvial flood plains carved by Ice Age glaciers. Delicate pinot noir and truculent syrah grapes hang, purple skinned, from the vines. Even late in the season, when all other grapes have been harvested and barreled, reislings shudder against a coming snowstorm, waiting to be plucked and turned into ice wine.
The lush Pacific Northwest is home to volcanic vistas, an abundance of orchards and vibrant urban areas. A road trip is an ideal way to catch all of the amazing sights this region is famous for. In the span of just a few days, you can experience everything from wine tasting to whale watching to sightseeing — all while enjoying the freedom of the road.
Great pinots, an earthy ethos, and truffle hunting: What’s not to love about the Willamette Valley?
A ribbon of road unfurls between vineyards and pastures. Sustainable wineries stand in the seams of hills. Acres of grapes march across red hills, destined to become some of the New World’s greatest pinot noir. This is Oregon’s Willamette Valley wine country.