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WINERIES, CIDERMAKERS & CRAFT BREWERS
Within a short drive of Salem — and right in town — it’s possible to taste a world of wine, cider and brews. While largely known for its world-class Pinot noir, the Willamette Valley produces a wide range of award-winning wines and has also attracted a new crop of cider makers and craft brewers. No matter which direction you take, you’ll find cozy tasting rooms and opportunities to chat with producers while quaffing a glass of your favorite beverage.
View Wineries, Cidermakers & Craft Brewers Itinerary in a larger map
For in-town tasting, visit Grand Vines and sip from a rotating list of local, regional and international wines. Live music is often on the menu, along with antipasto plates, sandwiches, soups and salads. Save room for handmade goodies from Extreme Chocolates.
Honeywood Winery, Oregon’s oldest producing winery, offers complimentary tastings of its varietal, fruit and specialty wines – including mead – and a gourmet marketplace selling Oregon foods and wine-related gifts.
For a wine loop south of Salem, start with Willamette Valley Vineyards. Founded in 1983, the estate is one of Oregon’s leading wineries, best known for award-winning Pinot noir, along with excellent Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot gris. The winery sits on a picturesque hilltop, with a tasting room and deck that offer sweeping views across the valley. Enjoy a picnic lunch assembled from the local cheeses and artisan products from the tasting room. Look for annual events like the Pinot and Chocolate Celebration, Pear, Wine and Cheese Jubilee, Father’s Day Weekend, and the fall Grape Stomp Competition.
Farther south, overlooking the Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge, is Ankeny Vineyards. There, owner Joe Olexa and winemaker Andy Thomas turn out small, handcrafted lots with an emphasis on Pinot noir and Pinot gris. Nearby Trinity Vineyards, a family-owned boutique winery producing Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Viognier and Rosé, features a tasting room deck overlooking the vines and with views of the surrounding hills.
To the east of Salem lies a handful of small wineries, including Pudding River Wine Cellars, a winery producing small lot, boutique wines like Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Pinot gris, Viognier, and Riesling. In Aumsville, Piluso Vineyard and Winery offers red and white varietals along with port and dessert wines. Piluso’s Vintner’s Garden is a delightful spot to enjoy a bottle of wine and a picnic.
By far, the largest concentration of wineries and vineyards is west of Salem. Visiting one, or a handful, makes for a pleasant and easy daytrip.
Head west along Highway 22 to loop through the Van Duzer corridor. Here vines get the benefit of temperate afternoon breezes and cool evenings – perfect growing conditions for exceptional Pinot noir. Wineries in this area include Johan Vineyards, Firesteed Cellars and Namasté Vineyards. At Van Duzer Vineyards, visitors are treated to award-winning wines and breathtaking views of the valley from the trellised terrace off the tasting room – the perfect spot for a picnic lunch.
If you’d rather break up a day with a more traditional lunch stop, head to Left Coast Cellars; the cozy café, decorated with a Scandinavian twist, features soups, panini sandwiches, pizza and small plates that complement the house wines. From there, head south to Eola Hills Wine Cellars. Open year-round and producing more than two dozen wines, Eola Hills’ serene setting and koi ponds offer a relaxing spot to pass an afternoon.
Another option for a wine loop west of Salem is up and along the ridge of the Eola Hills. This will take you by Cubanisimo Vineyards, St. Innocent Winery, Witness Tree Vineyard, Redhawk Vineyard & Winery, and Stangeland Vineyards and Winery – each one producing standout wines.Looking for additional winery information? Check out our wineries, vineyards & cideries page on our website.
CIDER & BREWS
Traditional hard cider is experiencing a revival in the Willamette Valley. Two early adopters are Wandering Aengus Ciderworks and E.Z. Orchards. For a taste of both, head to Wandering Aengus’ tasting room and sidle up to the sustainable hardwood bar to sample from a rotation of ciders, ranging from semi-dry to floral. Lite fare, local beers, wines and cheeses are also available.
Beer-lovers should seek out Gilgamesh Brewing, whose innovative brews have spawned a devoted following. Gilgamesh can be found at their own tasting room (open on select dates), on local menus, or at frequent pop-up events.
Salem’s Ram Restaurant & Brewery is home to Big Horn Brewing Company and its ales, lagers and handcrafted brews. Just across the Willamette in Independence (once the hop capital of the world) is an outpost of one of Oregon’s most lauded brewers, the venerable Rogue Ales. Raise a glass of artisan brew at the Chatoe Rogue Tasting Room, take a tour of the adjacent hop fields and processing facility, or relax with a friendly round of croquet.Looking for additional cider and brewery information? Check out our breweries or wineries, vineyards & cideries pages on our website.