Hidden Gems on Oregon’s Wine Trail

Dundee Hills Oregon's Key Wine Country
Dundee Hills, Oregon's Wine Country

Oregon’s wine industry has seen some explosive growth over the past few years with Oregon Pinot Noir making some serious waves internationally. A drive down 99W through Newberg and Dundee is now so littered with blue signs pointing to a plethora of wineries, it’s hard not to be completely overwhelmed.  The dizzying number of choices often leads people to pick out the more well-known wineries to visit like Argyle, Ponzi or Archery Summit and miss some of the smaller, more hidden wineries. Unfortunately this often results in tasting rooms with wine enthusiasts packed elbow to elbow trying to sample Oregon wines.

On a recent trip to the region, we set out to find a couple of lesser known wineries worth seeking out on the Oregon wine trail.


Portland Indie Wine & Food Festival – Saturday May 8th

Portland Indie Wine & Food Festival
Portland Indie Wine & Food Festival

While I spend a lot of time with Portland’s cocktail and micro-distillery world for, I can’t help but be drawn to all the amazing wine and beer festivals and events that take place in Portland year round.  One event which has always been on my radar screen is the Portland Indie Wine & Food Festival. Now in its sixth year, this home-grown event has blossomed into one of Portland’s more notable culinary expos.

The festival features 40 of the top wines selected from a pool of Oregon craft wineries which produce no more than 2,500 cases or more. This year they’ve added a special section to spotlight top scoring reds under $25 and whites under $15. Judges for the 2010 festival include Claud Mann of TBS’ Dinner and a Movie, journalist and author Alice Feiring, James Beard nominated Chef Cathy Whims of Nostrana, and Bernie Sun, Corporate Beverage Director at Jean-Georges Management, LLC. Portland’s top chefs will join the selected 40 craft producers and serve up sophisticated wine-friendly bites.

The 2010 Portland Indie Wine & Food Festival will take place at the Bison Building (19 NE 10th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97232) on Saturday, May 8th from 2 – 6 p.m.   Tickets are $75/person and include one tasting glass, festival passport and access to pours from all wineries and food from all the featured restaurants.