Oregon’s Willamette Valley winemaking presence grows larger each year. Located in the heart of Oregon, this valley showcases nearly 600 wineries.
We decided to focus our trip on the Eola Hills Wine Cellars, Legacy Estate Vineyard, and this 162-acre scenic vista draws us in. We are instantly drawn to the Estate’s “Wiking” wine-hiking trail as we enjoyed a light stroll through the vineyard vines while savoring heavenly sips of Eola’s own Muller-Thurgau sparkling wine. Named after the Greek god of the winds, Aeolus, the rolling emerald-hued hills of ‘Eola-Amity’, revealed to us a special destination, providing a reason to stay for the day.
Our Legacy Estate adventure continues as we enjoy plates of locally-sourced charcuterie while tasting some of the finest top-tier reserve wines that Oregon has to offer. Katie Bass, Wine Club Manager shares, “Wine making is our passion, but creating a destination and unique experience for our guests is what we’d like to achieve here at the Legacy Estate.” Guests won’t be looking far for adventure. The Legacy Estate boasts a beautiful and sought-after outdoor wedding and special occasion venue.
Then we head to The Independence Hotel. This new gem is located just outside of Salem in the quaint town of Independence. Situated along the scenic Willamette River Water Trail, the Independence Hotel has made itself a bit of a cyclist’s mecca. Bike amenities include indoor and outdoor maintenance spaces complete with rinse-off station, tools and a bench. Rooms are designed elegantly and beautifully, all with designated spaces to store two bikes. Each room features local artistry that can be seen in the live-edge wood tables, cedar headboards, wall art and even handmade soaps.
Independence Hotel general manager Matt Smith shares, “Since opening day in late 2019, we’ve continued to be a favorite amongst locals and travelers to the area. We pride ourselves on building lasting relationships with our guests.”
As if the year wasn’t challenging enough, this hotel filled its 75+ rooms (at a steep discount) to house displaced families during the September wildfires that burned hundreds of acres in the region, forcing hundreds to evacuate their homes.
Our day was complete after a visit to dine at the Hotel’s Territory Restaurant. It’s impressive menu boasts locally-sourced fresh food, wines, microbrews, cider and distilled spirits. Be sure to consider a take-away order and growler fill or wine bottle purchase and head up to hotel’s rooftop deck. Morning, afternoon or evening, guests discover beautiful views, elegant lounge-style seating, and fire tables to warm you on a cool evening. Looking for more peace and quiet? Consider reserving the custom-designed indoor hot tub/spa before retiring to your cozy room and private deck overlooking the great Willamette River.
The options for adventure are endless in this region. Whether you are looking for an outdoor adventure, shopping, or wine tasting, visit the beautiful Willamette Valley for a treasured experience with elevated offerings. by Dana Pethia
201 Osprey Lane, Independence, OR
Eola Hills Wine Cellars, Legacy Estate Vineyard
1600 Oak Grove Road, Salem, OR