Maximum Attendance: 12
Sunday – Monday, August 8 – 9
About the Columbia Gorge AVA
The Columbia Gorge AVA, established in 2004, comprises vineyard lands on both sides of the Columbia River, in both Oregon and Washington. The Columbia River, the largest river in the Pacific Northwest, is famous as the transportation mode for the Lewis & Clark expedition as it finished its final leg of travel to the Pacific Ocean. More recently, the region became well known for Bridge of the Gods where author Cheryl Strayed finished her Pacific Crest Trail journey in Wild, depicted by Reese Witherspoon in the movie of the same name. The river is crucial to transportation, industry, and recreation in the region.
The Columbia Gorge AVA includes the vineyards in the Hood River Valley, which is the land surrounding the Hood River as it flows down from Mount Hood, a dormant volcanic mountain that juts by itself into the skies and is Oregon’s highest point. Most wineries in the area are small, boutique wineries.
Transportation & Accommodations
You will be picked up at 9:00 AM on Sunday, August 8 at the Valley River Inn in Eugene, the day after the conference. You will be dropped off at Portland International Airport at 11:00 AM on Monday, August 9 allowing you to fly home that day, rent a car, or take the Light Rail into the city.
Your local hosts have reserved a block of rooms at the Best Western Plus in Hood River, Oregon for Sunday, August 8. You can reserve your room online now using the group block. Please note the group rooms are limited in type of room and do not include breakfast. If you book your room directly on the hotel’s website it might be a similar rate and will include breakfast – it is worth checking.
What is Included
The cost of the pre-conference excursion is $25 and includes ground transportation starting from Eugene and ending at Portland International Airport, winery visits, tastings, and meals. (Breakfast is on your own at the hotel and included depending on how you book.) It does not include transportation to/from Oregon or accommodations.
Please note details may change.
Sunday, August 8
9:00 AM You will be picked up at the Valley River Inn in Eugene.
12:00 PM We arrive at Timberline Lodge, located high on the slopes of Mount Hood, which at 11,249 feet in elevation is Oregon’s highest mountain, for a quick stop en route. Built in 1937 to give travelers and adventurers a convenient lodging, the lodge still serves skiers, mountain climbers, and hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail that runs past the lodge. We’ll have a tour of the area, a simple lunch of small sandwiches, charcuterie, cheeses, and a wine tasting by several Columbia Gorge sparkling wine producers. If time permits, you’ll be able to wander around and soak in the mountain beauty.
2:00 PM Depart Timberline for Stave & Stone Winery for a presentation by a local geologist as well as a tasting. The Washington and Oregon wine industries have probably the most fascinating geologic backgrounds in the country, thanks in part to the epic Missoula Floods and, in this corner of the world, the effects of runoff and erosion from Mount Hood. Stave & Stone Winery is located in the Hood River Valley and is on the Fletcher Family Farm, which has been family owned for five generations.
4:00 PM Depart Stave and Stone for Wy’East Vineyards. This vineyard and winery is also located in the Hood River Valley, with a stunning view of the surrounding area, and is co-located along with a pear orchard at the Blue Chip Farm. We will learn about the family history and taste the wines while in the actual vineyard. Wy’East is the indigenous name for Mount Hood.
5:15 PM Depart for lodging in Hood River along the Columbia River, where you can check in and relax for an hour before dinner.
6:30 PM Depart for dinner at Phelps Creek Vineyard. The Phelps Creek owners, Bob and Lynette
Morus, will greet the group in the vineyard at their Homestead Block. We’ll learn about their 30-year history in the area and taste their estate grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Dinner will be an intimate affair at the owners’ home, perched on top of the vineyard.
9:00 PM Depart Phelps Creek for lodging.
Monday, August 9
8:45 AM Pick up at lodging for PDX
9:30 AM We will stop for picture taking and short walk at Multnomah Falls, at 611-feet Oregon’s highest waterfall. You can choose to view the falls from the bottom but, for the best vantage point, it is worth walking partway up and taking the footbridge across the falls.
11:00 AM Arrive Portland International Airport. If you are not flying home today, you can easily take the Light Rail into the city or rent a car at the airport to extend your stay.