Hood River, Ore., is well-known as a gateway to adventure, whether visitors are hoping to hike or bike on the nearby trails, or windsurf on the Columbia River. It’s also an agricultural hub, growing thousands of pounds of apples, pears and other produce. But to make this destination even more appealing, Hood River and the surrounding area are also part of the Columbia Gorge AVA, which spans for 40 miles. The microclimates across this AVA vary drastically due to the number of transitions from cool marine-influenced climates to high desert. The AVA also straddles the borders of both Washington and Oregon. And the incredible wines coming out of this area certainly reflect its unique characteristics.

To explore the Oregon side of the AVA, Hood River serves as an ideal base. A stay in Hood River will provide easy access to the many fantastic wineries, most of which are just a few miles outside of downtown.

Where to Stay

Hood River Hotel | Evoke Winery Suite

Located in downtown Hood River, this beacon of history has stood the test of time. The original hotel was established in 1888, with the annex that houses the hotel today built in 1912. The hotel has been beautifully maintained, keeping its charming architectural details intact. There are a variety of historic room options to choose from, but for those heading to the area for wine tasting, the hotel’s Evoke Winery Suite is the perfect. The suite offers exterior, off-street entry, which gives it an exclusive feel. The colorful room is designed to match the fun, light-hearted personality of Evoke Winery, which has a tasting room within walking distance down the street from the hotel. The suite features a kitchen, living room space and a separate bedroom, offering plenty of room whether you’re just staying one night or exploring the area for a few days. Guests also get Evoke Wine Club access for a day, which includes a tasting flight voucher and 20 percent off bottle purchases. Add Evoke to your list for tasting, and then plan a few other stops to fully experience the variety of wines in the area.

Where to Sip

Wy’East Vineyards | Hood River

Wy’East Vineyards is located just six miles outside of downtown Hood River, off of Highway 35. The winery produces Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris from estate-grown grapes. Other offerings include Zinfandel and Carménère sourced from nearby vineyards. The casual tasting room is incredibly inviting, featuring a large patio with plenty of seating and expansive views. Try a tasting or enjoy wine by the glass. Don’t miss taking a walk around the property to visit the alpacas or play a round of bocce ball.

Current Favorite: 2019 Carménère

Idiot’s Grace Wines | Mosier

Idiot’s Grace is located in Mosier, Ore., a short drive east of Hood River. Off of the Historic Columbia River Highway, the tasting room is tucked amongst fruit trees and vineyards. The small, family-owned winery is entirely organic, growing grapes along with cherries and pears. Visit the farm for a tasting on the patio, or bring a picnic to enjoy at a table on the lawn. You’ll be met with varietals that aren’t quite as prevalent in the area, as Idiot’s Grace works with more than 20 grape varieties such as Barbera, Fiano and Aglianico.  

Current Favorite: 2019 Sauvignon Blanc / Semillon

Analemma Wines | Mosier

Head to Analemma Wines in Mosier for vineyard views that easily rival those in the Napa Valley. The first estate vines were planted in 2012 and, by 2017, Analemma achieved its biodynamic certification. Both the grapes and the wine are biodynamic, meaning there has been minimal manipulation throughout the entire process. The stunning tasting room was the result of an existing barn remodel, providing a home to the winery’s production facility at the same time. Visit Analemma for a patio tasting, or choose from a variety of experiences that allow you to explore the grounds, soaking in the views of the vineyards, orchards and lavender fields. Estate-grown offerings include Albariño, Syrah and Trousseau.   

*By reservation only

Current favorite: 2020 Mosier Hills Albariño

Phelps Creek Vineyards | Hood River

Phelps Creek Vineyards was established in 1990, expanding to its now 34 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. Estate fruit grown in the certified sustainable vineyards is used to make wines served at the Phelps Creek tasting room, as well as in the vineyard through signature tasting experiences. The tasting room recently relocated to a larger space, which is just 2.5 miles outside of downtown Hood River. Guests can enjoy fireside seating on the patio or plenty of comfortable seating inside. Vineyard picnic experiences can also be booked ahead of time to taste and soak up the sun with vineyard views and Mt. Hood towering above.

*Vineyard experience by reservation only

Current Favorite: 2017 Calamity Smoky Pinot Noir