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It’s been a challenging year, but it’s time to say, “Cheers!” It is spring and there are local wineries that welcome families! Local and nearby vineyards and tasting rooms are great places for you and your family to watch the wonders of PNW natural settings while sipping a glass of red and watching your kids play for a while. Not sure where to go? Don’t worry, we’ve rounded up our favorite picks for you. Read on to find out more.
photo: Ed Schipul via flickr
Family owned and operated, this little slice of heaven is located in Central Oregon off of Hwy 97. Nestled between Smith Rock and the Cascade Mountains, the landscape is as stunning making for an idyllic wine-tasting experience. The property has a wide-sweeping lawn area where events are held throughout the year. Lawn games are available for the young ones when they need to get their energy out, and there are delicious snacks— including a wide array of meats and cheeses— to nibble on when appetites grow. Keep an eye out for their year-round events. There’s plenty of fun to be had throughout the year. Last year’s festivities included a Father’s Day Feast and throughout the summer months you are likely to have the opportunity to listen to live music on their lawn.
Where: 15523 SW Highway 97 Culver, Oregon
Stoller Family Estate
Stoller is truly a family-friendly winery. With broad, green lawns to run and play, an on-site Frisbee golf course for the big kids, a playground for the littles, and even a tire swing, your family won’t want to go home! And with Stoller’s varieties of crisp, flavorful wines, you won’t want to, either. Try the refreshing stainless steel Chardonnay, or maybe you prefer a dry Rosé. And don’t forget to sample their most famous variety, the Pinot Noir. I suggest the Dundee Pinot, bold and well-rounded, just like our beautiful state!
Where: 16161 NE McDougall Rd., Dayton.
Price: $15/tasting flight (waived with 2 bottle purchase).
photo: Jennifer P. via yelp
The Brooks Winery rose out of tragedy when its owner, Jimi Brooks, passed away unexpectedly in 2004, leaving the winery to his son, Pascal, then only 8 years old. Maybe it’s no surprise, then, that the winery is particularly accommodating to families with children. There are various fun activities to keep the kiddos busy while you enjoy your tastings, including cornhole, darts, and a lovely picnic area. While you can’t bring outside food, the winery has a nice selection of snacks and box lunches to satiate small appetites.
The staff will serve lemonade so the wee ones can taste along with you, and afterward you can all play a game of badminton to give you some energy for the drive home. The tasting room is also a convenient 15 minutes from the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum and the Evergreen Wings & Waves Waterpark, both located on the Museum Campus in McMinnville, making it a perfect day trip for the family. Of course, we know this day won’t be all about the kids! Brooks offers an assortment of Oregon’s signature variety, Pinot Noir, and they also continue to produce award-winning Rieslings, a passion of Brooks’ founder.
Insider tip: Brooks allows pets in their outside area! Bring Fido!
Where: 21101 SE Cherry Blossom Lane, Amity.
Spend an afternoon sipping wine and hiking with your little outdoor enthusiasts. Located next to the Baskett Slough, a national wildlife refuge, Van Duzer offers and opportunity for you to imbibe on their fruit-forward wines while your kiddos catch a glimpse of the local wildlife including birds and breathtaking butterflies. You can pick up a trail map at their tasting room while you try the pinot noir and pinot gris and then explore the refuge’s many paths.
Where: 11975 Smithfield Rd., Dallas, Or.
photo: Brooks Winery via Yelp
If you’d really like to take a family trip to Italy, try visiting Alloro Vineyard instead. This inviting villa in the country will make you feel like a welcome house guest. Grab a glass of Pinot or a crisp Chardonnay, and take the kiddos out to stroll among the cypress trees, or take a tour through the vineyards and around the Italian herb garden. The friendly vineyard dog will chase sticks from your littles all afternoon, while you relax and absorb the ambiance rurale.
Where: 22075 SW Lebeau Rd., Sherwood.
featured image: Tina Witherspoon via Unsplash