Wine buffs with an eco-conscience will find much to savor at this fully certified organic winery.
Spend an afternoon sampling the small but impressive range of organic wines on offer at Cooper Mountain Vineyards on the site of an extinct volcano. A 30-minute drive from Downtown Portland, the family-run business is certified organic and biodynamic. They farm 123 acres (50 hectares), which produce five grape varietals: pinot gris, pinot blanc, tocai friulano, chardonnay and pinot noir.
The winery is known for its pinot noir and chardonnay. A more recent venture has seen the business expand into barrel-aged balsamic vinegar, which staff are more than happy to let you sample in their tasting room. You will also find a sulfite-free wine on offer, a remedy for those who are usually allergic to wine. Tastings incur a small fee, but this is refunded on purchase.
On Friday evening in summer the winery hosts live music by local acts. In November the vineyard opens its doors as part of the Willamette Valley Thanksgiving Open House Weekend when more than 100 vineyards in the Willamette Valley put on special tasting events. As well as sampling the latest creations from the vineyards, guests at Cooper Mountain are treated to live music and wine and food pairings.
If the organic nature of the winery is of particular interest to you then ask the staff to take you through the process and the benefits of making wine this way. Learn about the history of the vineyard, including how owner Dr. Bob Gross’s interest in organic farming grew out of his interest in homeopathic medicine.
Cooper Mountain Vineyard is open daily from noon until 5pm and makes a pleasant diversion from the city for couples and groups alike.