Thursday, August 16, 2012

Columbia Valley perfect for sports-minded wine lovers

As I travel in Columbia River Valley in Oregon, I'm finding it's the perfect wine destination for sports and outdoors enthusiasts. The Columbia River American Viticultural Association (AVA) has a wide range of wines: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris, Barbera, Syrah, Zinfandel, and more. The Valley is also a popular destination for weddings. Hiking, rafting, windsurfing, and more are available for sports enthusiasts, as well as stand up paddleboarding (SUP), which I'll be trying today. The valley is also known for its Anjou pears, apples, cherries, and many other fruits. The small town of Hood River is known for its local breweries, and there is a street that's referred to as Ale Alley in the town.
Cathedral Ridge Winery has a welcoming tasting room, where $5 buys you tastes of five wines. Their Pinot Noirs and Syrah are particularly noteworthy. Autumn is a perfect time to visit the valley, as its fall foliage is spectacular. The historic Columbia Gorge Hotel is beautifully situated on a crest above the river, and many rooms have sweeping views.

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