| ||With over 30 wineries and 45+ vineyards, the Columbia River Valley Gorge is home to an amazing variety of grapes that make for world-class wines. On this 7-night Columbia River cruise you will not only experience the flavor of the famous wines but also learn how the industry has given birth to a trailblazing spirit among the locals. |
Through guided shore excursions, wine tastings and pairings and onboard experts familiar with the Columbia River area, you will gain a full understanding of how the unique landscape contributes to the distinct variety of wines native to this region. The dramatic shift from hot, dry desert in the East to cool moisture in the West produces some of the most diverse grape varietals in the Pacific Northwest.
The Columbia River Cruise
|The Columbia River provides a beautiful path for your wine tour. Retracing the famous steps of intrepid explorers Lewis & Clark, you have the opportunity to view magnificent mountain ranges, rare wildlife and majestic waterfalls. |
Guided shore tours on this fascinating cruise include a trip to the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles and the Mount St. Helens Johnston Ridge Observatory. Witnessing these amazing natural landmarks will help you to better understand the unique topography of the region and how its diversity contributes to the wine varietals.
Cruise Attractions: Multnomah Falls, Fort Clatsop, the Columbia River Maritime Museum, Pendleton Woolen Mill
The Columbia Gorge Wine Region
|While most wine regions benefit from a single, sustained climate, the Columbia River Gorge is unique because it features a dramatic shift in climate, geology and soil within a relatively small distance. The unique topography, climate changes and shifts in elevation have a profound impact on the many varieties of grapes in the region. |
This 40-mile stretch cuts through the Cascade Mountain range encompassing both sides of the Columbia River in Oregon and Washington. A distinct transition occurs between the alpine forests of Underwood Mountain to the deserts of the eastern side. The latitude of this region is shared by other renowned wine growing regions including Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley.
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Wine Enthusiasts Special Events
| ||As you cruise the scenic Columbia River, enjoy stops at renowned vineyards to sample the amazing variety of wines native to the Valley from Albarinos to Zinfandels. Our onboard experts will share their knowledge and insight into the region's wines including the unique geography, the adventurous winemakers and the Columbia Gorge. |
Saturday: Wine 101
Enjoy an overview of the grapes and wines native to the Pacific Northwest and the Columbia River Valley specifically. Our onboard expert will provide a thorough history of the wine varietals, how each is made and the economic impact wine making has had on the area.
Sunday: Oregon Food & Wine Pairing
Learn how to properly pair Columbia River valley wines with local cuisine. Everyone knows about red wines being served with meat and white wines pairing well with fish, but the matching goes much deeper and with popular Oregon dishes as a measure, you'll learn how to pick the perfect wine for your next meal.
Monday: Oregon Wines
Enjoy visits to favorite local tasting rooms to sample many varieties of Columbia River wine. Learn the difference between tank, barrel and bottled wine and hear entertaining stories from the winemakers about the history of the region and how wine has played a major role in it.
Tuesday: Journey to the Vineyards
Enjoy a visit to two Columbia Gorge wineries including a full tour and tasting. Learn about the sparkling wine native to the Pacific Northwest and what food goes best with this bubbly drink.
Wednesday: Wine of Washington Seminar
A comprehensive food and wine pairing seminar detailing the best of wines from Washington state, what makes these wines distinct and a question and answer session with wine experts.
Thursday: Richland, WA Winery Tours
Enjoy trips to three wineries in Richland: Hamilton Cellars, Bookwalter Cellars and Barnard Griffin Winery. Sample the flavorful red and white wines available for tasting and appreciate the robust bouquet inherent to the region's grapes.
|Onboard Expert: Ian Sampson |
To enhance your excursion into the renowned wines of the Columbia River Valley, we invite local expert Ian Sampson along to lend his in-depth knowledge of the region and its wine making history. A professional natural resources interpreter and historian, Sampson lends his skill to help guests gain an understanding of the history, culture, geology, geography, flora, and fauna of each area visited. Trained by world renowned professor and author, Sam Hamm, Sampson has accrued over 15 years of experience conducting interpretive programs in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and other regions of the world.