SOURCE: Travel Oregon

Travel Oregon

October 22, 2015 12:40 ET

Oregon, Washington Team Up With Multi-State Wine Trail

Willamette Valley to Walla Walla Wine Trail Showcases Premier Pacific Northwest Wineries, Culinary Offerings, Outdoor Scenery From Border to Border

PORTLAND, OR--(Marketwired - Oct 22, 2015) - Travel Oregon has joined forces with Oregon Wine Board, Willamette Valley Wineries, Columbia Gorge Winegrowers, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, Visit Walla Walla, Pacific Power and Alaska Airlines to launch a new wine tour that spans the borders and bountiful wine regions of Oregon and Washington. Featuring some of the Pacific Northwest's premier wine regions, culinary offerings and outdoor scenery, the Willamette Valley to Walla Walla Valley Wine Trail offers visitors an all-encompassing customizable itinerary. The journey includes lodging options in top boutique hotels and dining on farm-to-table fare and natural dishes from award-winning chefs.

Beginning in either Portland, Oregon, or Walla Walla, Washington, travelers are encouraged to tailor the tour to fit their travel schedules and interests. The full Willamette Valley to Walla Walla Valley Wine Trail itinerary and recommendations are available online at http://traveloregon.com/trip-ideas/itineraries/willamette-valley-weekend/ and http://traveloregon.com/trip-ideas/itineraries/wildflowers-waterfalls-wind-wine/.

The unique collaboration is designed to showcase the beauty and bounty of Oregon and Washington, boosting tourism to the area around a common theme of wine. The Willamette Valley to Walla Walla Valley Wine Trail will pay tribute to the wines of each region, including award-winning pinot noirs of Oregon and bold Rhone and Bordeaux-style wines of the Walla Walla Valley.

Tour Highlights by Region:

  • Portland: Portland's urban wineries -- nearly 20 at last count -- have their own unique character. The winemakers, who draw their inspiration from the energy and culture of the urban environment, tend to be nontraditional. Most urban winemakers source grapes from Oregon and Washington, allowing them to experiment with new styles in small batches. Start exploring the urban wine scene at the SE Wine Collective, which houses 10 small producers who make and pour their wine in Portland's vibrant Division-Clinton neighborhood.

  • Willamette Valley: The rolling green hills of the Willamette Valley are home to more than 500 wineries and nearly 20,000 acres of vineyards, making this area the largest wine region in Oregon. Tour guests will visit wineries in the Eola-Amity Hills and Dundee Hills areas within the Willamette Valley and eat at award-winning restaurants, where top chefs -- drawn to the Willamette Valley by its abundance of fresh produce, local farms and dairies, and flourishing wine industry -- work their magic with tasty local ingredients.

  • Columbia Gorge: The 40-mile-long Columbia Gorge American Viticulture Area (AVA) offers wide variations in microclimate, soil, geography and elevation, allowing for the production of more than 40 premium grape varieties. This grape-growing region is located in the nation's largest National Scenic Area and is a mecca for nature enthusiasts. In addition to visiting some outstanding -- and beautiful -- wineries, the tour will offer participants the opportunity to windsurf, hike or engage in other outdoor pursuits.

  • Walla Walla Valley: With its mild climate and rich soils, the Walla Walla Valley is among the country's most fertile agricultural regions. The area is home to more than 120 wineries and nearly 3,000 acres of grapes (largely represented by cabernet, syrah and merlot). In 2013, the Walla Walla Valley wine region was selected as one of Wine Enthusiast's "Top 10 Wine Destinations in the World," and Walla Walla itself was named by Fodor's as one of the "10 Best Small Towns in America." Tour-goers will have the opportunity to visit some of the Walla Walla Valley's most prominent wineries and historical sites.

Throughout the tour, guests have the opportunity to be pampered at luxury boutique hotels and inns. Dining options can range from elegant winemaker dinners to simple café lunches featuring fresh Pacific Northwest cuisine.

Private tours can be booked through EverGreen Escapes, a Seattle and Portland-based tour operator specializing in Pacific Northwest experiences that combine stunning natural wonders, outstanding food and drink, and unique urban encounters.

About Travel Oregon
The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, works to enhance visitors' experiences by providing information, resources and trip planning tools that inspire travel and consistently convey the exceptional quality of Oregon. The commission aims to improve Oregonians' quality of life by strengthening economic impacts of the state's $10.3 billion tourism industry that employs more than 101,000 Oregonians. Visit www.TravelOregon.com to learn more.

Media Contact: Judiaann Woo, (971)717-6185, Judiaann@traveloregon.com

About Oregon Wine Board
The Oregon Wine Board (OWB) is a semi-independent Oregon state agency managing marketing, research and education initiatives that support and advance the Oregon wine and wine grape industry. The Board works on behalf of all Oregon wineries and independent growers throughout the state's diverse winegrowing regions. www.oregonwine.org

Media Contact: Michelle Kaufmann, (503) 228-8336, michelle@oregonwine.org

About Willamette Valley Wineries
The nonprofit Willamette Valley Wineries Association (WVWA) is dedicated to achieving recognition for Oregon's acclaimed Willamette Valley as a premier pinot noir producing region. The Willamette Valley is the state's oldest AVA, with designation achieved in 1983, and includes six sub-AVAs. WVWA members represent wineries and tasting rooms from Portland to Eugene. www.willamettewines.com

Media Contact: Emily Petterson, (503) 550-8161, emily@ekpmedia.com

About Columbia Gorge Winegrowers
The Columbia Gorge AVA, established in 2004, runs approximately 40 miles along the north and south sides of the Columbia River in Oregon and Washington. A combination of climates, soils, elevation and geology provides some of the most diverse grape varieties in the region: the AVA has more than 1,200 acres under vine, 41 vitis vinifera varietals and over 30 boutique wineries. www.columbiagorgewine.com

Media Contact: Nicole Backus, (269) 369-3298, nicole.backus@columbiagorgewine.com

About Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance
The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance is a nonprofit wine industry membership organization whose primary mission is the marketing of the Walla Walla Valley's AVA. The Wine Alliance functions as the leading informational resource for consumers, media and trade interested in learning more about the valley's wine industry. www.wallawallawine.com.

Media Contact: Heather Bradshaw, (509) 526-3117, heather@wallawallawine.com

About Visit Walla Walla
The heart of Washington wine country, Walla Walla is home to more than 120 wineries, a nationally recognized culinary scene, access to an abundance of outdoor recreation, and an arts & entertainment scene that rivals cities many times its size. This community is known for its friendliness and hospitality, quality wines, and the famous Walla Walla Sweet Onion. www.visitwallawalla.com.

Media Contact: Justin Yax, (541) 389-2411, Justin@dvaadv.com

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