It’s the morning after Thanksgiving. A mix of post-feast cooking aromas, family and guests lingers throughout the house. Could there be a more perfect time to get out into the crisp autumn air, drive bucolic roads through towering firs and stop at wineries to drink some of Oregon’s – and the world’s – best vintages?

Fortunately, Willamette Valley wineries will be expecting you. Throughout the holiday weekend, more than 160 wineries offer special tastings, food pairings, live music, holiday discounts, and more fun expressing their own flair.

It’s likely that your guests for the holidays, whether they are from Burgundy, Beijing or Napa, will leap at the chance, because of the buzz about Oregon and the Willamette Valley’s new prominence as a world-class wine region. And, you and your guests can feel as if you’re a part of the story, experiencing first-hand the discovery that the national media has been lapping up, from The New York Times and The Washington Post to The Seattle Times, Wine Enthusiast and Los Angeles Magazine: that Oregon Pinots are among the best in the world.

John-Valls-glasses John-Valls-barrel-room

Photos by John Valls

Do your own research into what the cognoscenti know. Taste these wines right from the source. Hang out with the winemakers and harvest teams to hear the story of what you’re sipping. Check out the wineries that are only open to the public on special holiday weekends such as this one, and aerate over your palate what is poured exclusively in the tasting room.

So don’t let that other post-holiday American tradition, Black Friday shopping, divert you from this distinctly Oregon tradition in its 31st year. Turn Black Friday red – as red as what’s in your glass.


Willamette Valley Wineries Association is the source for winery events and to request a printed copy of the Guide to Wine Country Thanksgiving with event listings and maps.